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Actor on sex charges named as Shorty star

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017

The Kiwi actor accused of sex crimes against several of his acting students can now be named as former Shortland Street star Rene Naufahu.

The 46-year-old faces a total of 17 charges, including indecent assault and sexual violation, over alleged offending against seven adult women he was teaching between 2010 and 2013.

At a hearing at the Auckland District Court in February, Judge David Sharp agreed to lift the suppression on Naufahu's name, effective Sunday morning.

Naufahu is best known for playing Shortland Street paramedic Sam Aleni from 1992 to 1996.

He was an original cast member, reprised the role in 2014 and has had various other minor parts in television and film.

Naufahu opted not to seek continued suppression at the February hearing, saying he wanted to confront the charges openly.

"Suppression was only ever reluctantly sought by me to preserve my ability to continue to work and to try to minimise the disruption on my family," he said in a statement.

"I did not seek suppression to hide from these allegations.

"I am confident that I will not be judged in the meantime and until all the relevant facts are known, not just what is currently being alleged."

Naufahu is set to return to court in April.

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