Winemaker to stand trial over child sex abuse claims

An Australian winemaker has pleaded not guilty to a string of child sex abuse charges that date back to the 1990s and will now stand trial.

Peter Seppelt, 54, pleaded not guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to charges of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse, as reported by The Guardian.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place between 1994 and 1996 at Springton, near the Barossa Valley wine region.

He is charged with maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a person under 17 years of age, and five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Seppelt is a fifth-generation winemaker of Seppelt, in the Barossa Valley, which was established in 1851 by one of the region’s oldest winemaking families.

With the case now committed to a higher District court for trial, a statutory suppression on revealing his identity lapsed, allowing Seppelt to be publicly named in local media.

A trial date will be set at the end of April.

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