The Dominion Post
February 14, 2004

Inquiry head in group sex claim
by Phil Kitchin

The former senior policeman who failed to properly investigate police pack-rape allegations had earlier engaged in group sex with one of the same policemen, a woman alleged last night.

The woman said that former Detective Inspector John Dewar was a friend of former Detective Sergeant Brad Shipton and the two of them had consensual group sex with her in about 1986 or 1987.

She told One News the group sex took place several years before Rotorua woman Louise Nicholas complained to police that in about 1986 she was pack-raped by Mr Shipton and his then fellow officers Bob Schollum and Clint Rickards.

Mr Shipton is now a Tauranga city councillor, Mr Schollum is a Napier car dealer and Mr Rickards is assistant police commissioner.

Mr Dewar assigned himself to investigate the complaints by Mrs Nicholas and an internal police inquiry later found that he failed to investigate properly.

The woman's claims appear to support Mrs Nicholas' allegation that Mr Dewar was looking after his mates in not properly investigating her allegations.

The woman, who asked not to be named, has sworn a detailed affidavit saying she was involved in consensual group sex with Mr Rickards and Mr Shipton. On another occasion, she says Mr Dewar joined in with Mr Shipton.

She says she does not harbour any personal bitterness toward the men but wanted to speak out because she saw Mr Dewar making public statements that he was not a friend of the men Mrs Nicholas has accused of rape.

She says that, though the sex she had with the men was consensual, she believes the officers preyed on her while she was at a raw and emotionally vulnerable stage in her life in about 1986 and 1987.

Mrs Nicholas says Mr Dewar persuaded her not to pursue a complaint against the three officers she accused of raping her and violating her with a police baton.

Mr Dewar appointed himself to investigate the complaints but she says he did not tell her he was a friend of any of the policemen she had accused of the alleged pack rape.

Mr Dewar has since publicly rejected Mrs Nicholas' statements about the close relationship he enjoyed with Mr Shipton and Mr Rickards.

He has said that he had no relationship with the men other than a professional one.

"I would challenge anyone to come forward and tell me what relationship I have with those men," he was quoted as saying. "We don't socialise or go to each other's homes, we don't call each other up."

In the woman's affidavit, she says Mr Dewar was introduced to her by Mr Shipton as his friend and new boss.

The three then engaged in sex and Mr Dewar later made a visit to the woman on his own, she says.

The woman says there were times when Mr Rickards picked her up in a police car and drove toward Tauranga for a rendezvous with Mr Shipton close to the highway.

Group sex would take place and she says there was one night when Mr Rickards, who was on duty, received a call to attend an incident while the three were at the rendezvous.

She says Mr Rickards told her he was leaving immediately and she would have to find her own way home. "I objected and made him take me back to Rotorua."

The woman says Mr Rickards last made contact with her less than two years ago. She says she hid when she saw him driving past her house and he later telephoned asking if she was happily married.

She says a man, whose name she does not want made public, witnessed Mr Shipton, Mr Rickards and another man, from Auckland, arriving at her home seeking a group sex session one night.

She later complained to Mr Rickards that the Aucklander had been pushy and said he was going to have sex with her whatever she thought.

The woman says she was also asked one night to go and have a group sex session with a 16-year-old girl but she refused.

A friend of the woman has also sworn an affidavit saying the woman told her and others about the group sex in the years it was allegedly occurring.

Police have reopened a criminal investigation into Mrs Nicholas' rape complaint. All three men have denied raping her or violating her with a baton. The Government has ordered a commission of inquiry which will look into the investigation of the complaints, and also examine police culture.