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Rene Naufahu Charged With Sex Crimes

A well-known New Zealand actor facing sex charges can be named for the first time today.

Lee Rene Naufahu - known as Rene Naufahu - faces 17 charges, including indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection.

The 46-year-old Mt Roskill resident has had name suppression since being charged in January last year but the order lapsed this morning.

The award-winning actor, known for his role as ambulance driver Sam Aleni on Shortland Street, faced a trial in the Auckland District Court in December last year.

The trial was aborted after two days, but the reasons cannot be reported.

Since the trial, two new charges have been laid, bringing the total number of charges to 17.

A new trial date has not yet been set.

In a statement to the media he said he had sought suppression so he could continue to work and to minimise the harm to his family.

"I now no longer seek suppression with my family's support. I am pleased to be able to make this decision and I know that it is right. I am quite prepared to confront these charges openly and will do so."

He said he was concerned that other actors were being accused and thought that was unfair.

Mr Naufahu, who also wrote and directed a feature film, The Last Saint, is due back in court next month.


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