RNZ launches Conviction podcast about 1990’s Christchurch Civic creche case

Conviction is a new RNZ podcast about childcare worker Peter Ellis and his own conviction, quashed in 2022, of child sexual abuse.

The Conviction story began in 1990s Christchurch when a four-year-old boy, a student at a council-owned creche, made a comment “I don’t like Peter’s black penis.”

This comment led then 30-year-old childcare worker Ellis into a nightmare, spending seven years in prison for crimes he said he did not commit and still impacts Aotearoa’s legal landscape.

The 12-part series, hosted by Alexander Behse and Ali Jones, gives a comprehensive look into the case, and some stories never told before, including interviews with Ellis’s siblings and parole officer.

Behse said his motivation in making the podcast was to understand the pain everyone went through.

“Nobody won in this story. All I can see are people becoming hurt and damaged – on all sides.”

RNZ’s Executive Editor, Podcasts Tim Watkin said:

“This case is so well-known, but there’s more to it than most people realise. The moral panic, contamination of testimony, certainty of guilt or innocence on both sides, the question of who to believe. We’ve spent five years, scoured the archives and done about 50 interviews. This podcast doesn’t take sides, it tells the whole story in-depth and in unprecedented detail.”

The first three episodes of Convictionare released on Friday the 29th of September at rnz.co.nz/conviction and podcast platforms, with a new episode every weekday.

Conviction was made with to NZ On Air and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

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