A father has praised his daughter, who was sexually abuse by a Sikh priest, for speaking out, saying that his daughter ‘saved other kids’ from having the same nightmare.
Judge Nevin Dawson found Sajan Singh, an Indian-origin Sikh priest guilty on six counts of sexual conduct with a child at Auckland District Court by on Thursday.
The sexual assault took place in 2017, where two victims aged eight and 12 years old were lured by Sajan separately into West Auckland gurdwara’s silent rooms and groped their bottoms.
“It’s been two years of battle, but it restores my faith in the justice system to know this man will be punished,” the older girl’s father, who was at court on Thursday, said after the verdict came.
Since speaking out against Sajan, his 13-year-old daughter, who was born in New Zealand, has refused to enter gurdwaras (Sikh temples).
Her parents said that they respect her decision after her ordeal but felt sad about that.
Children attended classes at gurdwaras to learn about the Punjabi language, Sikh culture and traditional music, said her father.
Adding further, her father said, “Religion is a way of life; it teaches you to be a good human and to live a good life, so when something like this happens it really sends the wrong message to kids.”
“There’s this blind faith and trust for people in high positions, in religion, that makes people doubt victims because they simply don’t believe a priest could do these things,” added her father.
Sajan will be sentenced in September and was release on bail. The priest would be deported back to India after serving his sentence, said his lawyer.