Otago Daily Times
June 28 2003

Former creche girl signs Ellis petition

" At first, my parents thought they would stay out of it. But they [social workers] phoned quite a few times and then my parents thought maybe they should have a look into it.

"I think they sent someone around one day to note my behavioural patterns.

"When they came to observe my behaviour I think I argued the entire time with my little sister . . . Then they left and got back in contact with my parents and said clearly there is some abuse."

Rachel was sent to a psychologist.

"She seemed really nice. But [I remember] my feeling was it was kind of unsettling . . . I didn't understand why they were asking the questions."

Rachel said even when her parents removed her from the inquiry she remained aware of the Ellis case.

"I knew there was a bit of talk at home about it but I wasn't focused on it. I never thought I was the centre of it. I knew Peter had been arrested through my parents."

News of Mr Ellis swirled around her but Rachel said her parents never put any pressure on her over the case.

"They asked if anything had happened to me . . . I think mum was quite explicit. She said `If a man came up to you and dropped his pants and . . . you are not to let him do that, you are to run away and scream and yell and make as much noise as possible.'

"She asked me if anything like that had happened. I said no."

But she said she did feel pressure from other sources at the time.

"I did feel pressure. Not by my parents, but by being interviewed and the general atmosphere. The questions made me uncomfortable.

"I remember thinking I would have remembered something like that [the abuse] and I would have been very uncomfortable or unsettled. I knew he didn't do it."

She said she had little to do with the other children from the creche once she left.

"I saw my best friend from the creche a couple of years ago but we never talked about it."

If she had, she said she would have asked: "What happened to you? Why didn't I know about this?"

Rachel said she signed the petition calling for a royal commission into Mr Ellis' conviction after someone asked her mother to sign it.

"My mum said `Look I've got this petition and you're more than welcome to sign it but, look, you are under no pressure.'

"And I said `No, I would love to sign it' because I had come to my own conclusion that he didn't do it."

Rachel has her opinions as to why Mr Ellis was convicted.

"I think that because he was the only male there and that he was homosexual might have caused a bit of discomfort within some of the parents. When I think about it, it just comes down to that."

Rachel said she wanted to read Lynley Hood's book A City Possessed to understand what had happened to her.

"[But] I think I'll finish Harry Potter before I read Lynley Hood."