Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

New Child Abuse Allegations Surface 28 Years After Institution's Closure
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 19, 2006

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND--New Zealand police are investigating new allegations that Dr. Selwyn Leeks abused youths at Lake Alice Hospital's child and adolescent unit during the 1970s.

The latest complaint was filed by an unnamed 45-year-old Auckland man who claimed that Leeks, who was in charge of the psychiatric institution from 1972 to 1977, allowed him to be tortured with painful injections, solitary confinement and electric shocks as punishment.

The man said he was in his teens at the time of the alleged abuse.

More than 30 former patients have called for Dr. Leeks to face criminal charges for his part in the abuse they claim they suffered at Lake Alice. The average age of the patients at the time of the alleged abuse was 11 years.

Those former patients claim that staff at the institution, under Leek's direction, routinely used electric shock to punish them for everything from getting poor grades to not eating their meals. In some cases, other patients, including children, dealt out the punishments. They also claimed that they were locked in rooms with adults who sexually abused them.

Last September, police dropped plans to extradite Leeks from Australia to face criminal charges, saying they did not have enough evidence.

In recent years, more than 300 former patients of New Zealand's psychiatric hospitals have come forward saying they were abused at the facilities during the 1960s and 1970s.

Nearly all of the facilities have been closed in favor of community-based supports. The adolescent unit at Lake Alice was closed in 1978.

"Focus back on doctor after new child abuse claim" (New Zealand Herald)
"Culture Of Abuse At Former New Zealand Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.