Sexual assault, violence allegations made against three Wellington musicians

Source: 1News

Police are investigating multiple allegations of violence, sexual assault and rape against three male Wellington musicians.

By Vandhna Bhan

Over the past 24 hours, more than 100 claims of abuse from both men and women, some as young as 13, have been made on social media.

Most accusations have been made anonymously via a public Instagram account which has gained more than 10,000 followers overnight.

While most allegations are from within Wellington, some are from Auckland and others from overseas.

People alleged they’ve been drugged, raped, and harassed by the three men, who are prominent on the social scene.

Police told 1 NEWS they are “aware of the allegations and are making inquiries”.

“Anyone who has information that may assist is asked to contact police directly via 105.”

In a media standup this afternoon, Detective Inspector John van den Heuvel said they had received "a small number of complaints directly and these are currently under investigation".

"We know that coming forward to report a sexual assault can be incredibly difficult, but I want to reassure the Wellington community that we treat these reports extremely seriously," van den Heuvel said.

"Come forward, tell us your story. We will treat you with utmost respect and sensitivity."

Police are now working to determine whether complaints had been made prior to the allegations and subsequent launch of their investigation yesterday. 

Around 12 investigators are working on the case. 

Police are urging people to not post any names or personal details but rather share relevant information to police through their online 105 non-emergency support , referencing Operation Emerald. 

Victims advocate Louise Nicholas said several of the survivors who came forward to police today are urging others to do the same, adding, "just know that you are extremely safe to do so".  

Anyone affected by sexual violence can also contact Wellington Help on their 24-hour support line by via (04) 8016655. 

Musicians - including Kiwi artist Benee, with over 500,000 followers on Instagram - have also joined the discussion on social media by sharing the Instagram profile and speaking out against sexual violence.

There are also allegations on social media made by some men - who aren't part of the accused trio - who claim they've been attacked due to their race following the claims online.

Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul has also taken to social media saying she will be organising a meeting with some of the victims, victims advocate Louise Nicholas and the police today.

Paul confirmed to 1 NEWS the meeting would be facilitated this afternoon. She said she didn't know how many victims would turn up.