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Dairy Farmer Confesses To Shameful Association With Juvenile Sister-in-law


LOOKING much older than she is, the girl m her evidence said she was at present residing with her parents m Whangarei and would be sixteen years of age m February next year. She knew the accused v/as married to her sister Olive, and that he had four children. She had known him for five years. She recalled the time when Torstenson was milking on Ham's farm at Kara. She left school and want there with her sister, Olive, to assist with the milking. • In answer to a question by Detective Robinson, she said she remembered Mrs. Torstenson going to hospital m December, 1927, and she stayed on at the farm. Her other, sister also came to. stay at the farm. . The girl went on to detail the circumstances leading up to the offence. After this incident she remained on the farm ,for some weeks and then went home. ' Visits were again paid to accused's home on occasions during the following year. He later moved to Foster's farm at

(From "N.Z. Truth's" Whangarei Representative). That he had been guilty of improper conduct with his sister-in-law while his wife lay ill m hospital was the admission made by Charles Richard Torstenson, aged 29, m the Whangarei Police Court, when charged yrith a serious offence m respect of a girl under the age of sixteen years at Mangapai.

Kara, where she used tq go 'to look after the children. Her mother sent her, said the girl. Impropriety occurred on many occasions at both Ham's and Foster's farms, declared the girl. > v She remembered the accused moving to Mangapai and she accompanied him, ullegedly on her mother's advice. Further instances of '.nd'scretion on the part of Torstenson and herself were given by, the girl. Later, said the girl, she visited a

doctor m Whangarei. The accused's wife took her to the doctor. After the visit she had a conversation with accused and told him of her plight. "* He said: "Don't worry, I will get you right again." She remained on the farm until her mother arrived, but no mention of her state of health was made. When leaving by the train for her parents' home at Poroti, the accused saw her off.

According to the girl, he said: "Don't blame it on to me; say it was someone else." The accused's wife and her mother talked it over on the following day. The mother of the girl said her df lighter was born at Pahiatua on February 16, 1914. She knew the accused, her son-in-law, who was married to her eldest daughter. She went on to corroborate the evidence of her daughter concerning the

times she worked for Torstenson. On ' December 2, 1928, she said she paid a visit to her son-in-law's farm, •and sent her youngest daughter nome to Poroti to help on their own farm. Later her eldest daughter told her something which caused her to again pay a visit to Torstenson's farm. Approached on the subject, he said he knew nothing of the girl's plight. Later, he wrote to his father-in-law and she again visited the farm, when he admitted he was responsible.

Continuing, the girl's mother said she had obtained clothing for her daughter's expected child and the accused had paid for it. This was an arrangement between Torstenson and her husband. Detective - sergeant Robinson, of Whangarei, stated that, as a result of! a complaint, he made inquiries and arrested Torstenson. I A statement signed by accused was then produced and read. In the statement, Torstenson said he did not know the girl's age, but he believed she was under the age of sixteen. Nothing improper had occurred between them until October 3, 1928. Later he told his wife and her father that he was responsible for the girl's plight. He had done what he could by sending 35/- and some clothing for the baby. ! Mr. Trimmer (who appeared for Torstenson) to the detective:; Would you say the girl looks over the age of sixteen? The detective: Yes, I think she does. Accused pleaded guilty and was committed to the Auckland Supreme Court for sentence.

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Bibliographic details

WHILE HIS WIFE LAY STRICKEN, NZ Truth, Issue 1232, 11 July 1929

Word Count

WHILE HIS WIFE LAY STRICKEN NZ Truth, Issue 1232, 11 July 1929

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