Lawyer says Inspector Hurimoana Dennis will defend kidnapping charge

The lawyer for Senior Police Officer Huri Dennis says Mr Dennis has been told by Police he'll be charged with kidnapping. Steve Bonnar says the charge relates to the alleged kidnapping of a 17-year-old involved in a sexual relationship with a minor. 

Lawyer Steve Bonnar believes Mr Dennis should not face any charges.

“I don’t think he should have been charged with anything. Why? Because he's acted at all times in what he considered to be the best interests of the young man with the consent of the young man’s whānau and he believed with the consent of the young man himself.”

Dennis has been under investigation for allegedly locking a teenage boy in a cell in an attempt to end a sexual relationship between the 17-year-old teenager and an underage girl.

“That’s the essential allegation that's been made against him. The circumstances arise out of a sexual relationship which was taking place between the young man at the centre of the allegation and an underage girl. I believe she was 15 at the time.”

Mr Dennis was stood down by police in September last year after a complaint was laid by the teenage boy.

“Huri will be vigorously defending the charge. He has acted at all times honourably. He's acted at all times with the consent and the encouragement of the whanau of the young man at the centre of the allegation and he has acted at all times in what he considered to be the young man’s best interests.”

Mr Dennis was the front man for Te Puea marae's Manaaki Tangata homeless programme. Marae Trustee advisor Anthony Ruakere says Mr Dennis has been up front and honest since the investigation began.

“It’s important to understand that when the issue first came to light and Mr Dennis was advised that an investigation was going to be underway he took that immediately to the trustees."

Bonnar says, “The maximum penalty for an offence of kidnapping is 14 years imprisonment but I don’t anticipate that anyone’s suggesting that that sort of outcome would be appropriate in this case.”

On Tuesday the 25th of October Mr Dennis will offer to step down as the Chairman of Te Puea marae.

In a statement to Te Kāea, a police spokesperson said while the investigation is ongoing they are not in a position to comment on what charges may or may not be laid.