Police officers found not guilty of kidnapping

Hurimoana Dennis outside the High Court in Auckland on 23 November. - Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn

Two police officers charged with kidnapping a teenage boy in 2015 have been found not guilty.

The young man, who was 17 at the time, said the officers searched him, put him in a cell and told him if he didn't move to Australia to get away from his underage girlfriend he would be charged with statutory rape.

Hurimoana Dennis and Vaughn Perry pleaded not guilty to the charges in the High Court in Auckland.

After a two week trial the jury today delivered their verdicts of not guilty.

Mr Dennis was found not-guilty on one charge of kidnapping. The Crown said he kidnapped the boy when he locked him in the cells at Auckland Central Police Station and searched him.

The defence said Mr Dennis was simply showing the boy around to show him where he could end up if he continued his relationship with his then 15-year-old girlfriend.

The jury also found Mr Dennis not guilty on a second charge of kidnapping - bought against him for an incident at Auckland Airport.

The Crown said the boy flew back from Australia after being forced to move there, when he landed at Auckland Airport the police meet him off the plane and took him to the airport police station.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said the boy was detained by Mr Dennis.

Vaughan Perry was working at the police station the day the boy was there in 2015. The Crown said he was involved in detaining the boy by putting him the cell.

The jury found Mr Perry not guilty of the charge.

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