New Zealand hostel owner drugs and sexually assaults male backpackers

This article is more than 12 months old

A New Zealand hostel owner drugged and sexually assaulted at least 16 male backpackers who were staying at his lodge. 

Michael Harris, 56, then filmed the incidents, which took place over two and a half years.

He is now facing dozens of charges, including making intimate visual recordings, indecent assault and aggravated wounding. 

Most of the men, aged between 18 and 25, were from abroad.

Police said there could be more victims who stayed at Harris' Mainstreet Lodge, in Kaitaia, which is ​​on the north-western tip of the North Island.

"These victims are unlikely to know that something has happened to them, although they may have suspicions," Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnson said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We will deal sensitively with them and offer all (the) appropriate support required."

The hostel comprises 16 rooms with a total of 65 beds. 

Police said that Harris often allowed travellers to stay longer in the owner's personal residence. And these men were among those who assaulted.

Source: New York Daily News


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