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New Zealand teen who raped two girls avoids jail – soft judge orders him to pay victims $3k instead

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A New Zealand teenager who raped two girls – one a virgin – and indecently assaulted a third has been spared jail by a judge who ordered him to pay each of his victims $1,000 for “emotional harm” instead.

The teen predator, who was found guilty of two counts of rape, four of indecent assault and two of unlawful sexual connection, cannot be named since his matter was heard in the Youth Court. He was sentenced last November, but the finding were not released until last month, NZME reported.

Due to the seriousness of the offences Judge Brandt Shortland has the option to transfer the case to the District Court where the rapist could have been given a more severe sentence, but decided against it “by the finest of margins”.

The maximum penalty for rape in the District Court is 20 years’ jail, while the Youth Court can order a maximum of six months detention in a youth residence.

“I considered it was in the public’s interest this matter stay in this court and it should be dealt with in an appropriate way,” Judge Shortland said in his ruling.

“[It] was probably because of the fact you were [under 16] years of age at the time, in my words a boy, and that probably saved you.”

In ordering the $3,000 reparation, the judge said: “It is not compensation for what happened, but it is a gesture of goodwill of some sort, to try and help the person out and that is what I see it.”

“You certainly have a better and a healthy understanding of a relationship with young women than previously and that has now been clearly outlined in the information before me,” the judge said to the teen in sentencing, after taking into account his alleged remorse, lack of prior offending, 18-months of rehabilitation, and 2.5 years’ bail.

“At the end of the day, you will have to live with your actions and I think you have done what you can within this jurisdiction to be accountable for that.”

The teenager’s offenses took place over a six month period beginning in February 2021 when he spooned the first victims and touched her genitals despite her saying no.

Then in April he asked his second victim for sex and she refused. She later woke to find him raping her, and shortly afterwards he forced her to give him oral sex.

The rapist attacked his final victim, a virgin, two months after that, forcing himself on her after she rejected his demands for sex multiple times.

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