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Tafara Mutingwende refutes the allegations that were posted on social media. Photo / Supplied

Katie  Harris

A Wellington musician who says he was falsely accused of sexual assault over social media has filed defamation proceedings in the High Court against two Instagram users.

Tafara Mutingwende, known also as Theo Outlandish, claims two other musicians defamed him in Instagram posts and livestreams in October last year.

Mutingwende said the allegation he was a rapist was “completely false” and “ridiculous”.

“They’ve caused massive damage to my reputation. I feel I have no choice but to sue them. I’m totally committed to holding them to account.”

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His lawyer, Joshua Pietras, said they would not be making any further comment until the proceeding had concluded.

“However, I will say that I know Mr Mutingwende is very much looking forward to his day in court.”

The High Court at Wellington confirmed the matter was filed on August 4.

In October last year an investigation called Operation Emerald was launched by police into alleged offending by a group including some musicians.

The operation was sparked by social media users sharing claims about the alleged behaviour of a group of Wellington men.

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In November, police investigating the claims said they had received about 20 reports from women.

At the time police had warned people not to share unverified information on social media.

This came after police said “people who have absolutely nothing to do with the allegations” were publicly accused of being the offenders.

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Detective Senior Sergeant John Van Den Heuvel said last year that people with allegations should contact police or survivor support services rather than posting about it online.

One man was arrested and faces multiple charges of sexual assault to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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If you have been affected by sexual violence and need support contact Wellington HELP on their 24/7 support line, (04) 801 6655.

Where to get help:

• If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

• If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (available 24/7)

• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand – find your closest one here.

• Mosaic – Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am-8pm)

• If you have been abused, remember it’s not your fault.

• Wellington HELP has a 24/7 helpline for people who need to speak to someone immediately. You can call 04 801 6655 and push 0 at the menu.