INDEPENDENT NEWS

Judges and media urged to “step up” naming sexual predators

Published: Tue 9 Sep 2014 05:34 PM
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Media Release 9 September 2014
Judges and media urged to “step up” on naming sexual predators
A Hastings man today pleaded guilty to 61 child sex abuse image and sex charges after it was discovered he had more than 700,000 deleted images and video recordings on his computer.
The 48-year old unemployed man was arrested following a joint operation between the Department of Internal Affairs and the Hawkes Bay police’s child protection team. They discovered hundreds of images of teens known to the man, some obtained from social networking sites, and countless more of females taken in public places without their knowledge. It is understood that the offender placed the images of victims’ heads on sexualised Internet photos.
The man also made numerous recordings of his teenage stepdaughter and a friend, and set up covert recordings of his stepdaughter, stepson and two teenage girls in the family bathroom. Photos showing a similar pattern of behaviour, when the man lived in Auckland in the 1990s, also came to light.
Stop Demand founder, Denise Ritchie, says: “It is deeply frustrating that an offender with such a prolific, long-standing pattern of predatory behaviour is, once again, given protection and anonymity by the Courts - in this case, because two of his numerous victims were his stepchildren.”
“We appreciate that victims of familial sex crimes are entitled to have their identity protected. However, in cases such as this, where the vast majority of victims come from an offender’s wider community, that community has a right to know.”
“In such cases, surely a trial judge can issue a ruling prohibiting media from identifying the nature of one relationship, while reporting a named offender’s wider pattern of offending. We have no doubt this has been successfully managed in the reporting of other cases where the focus remains on the offender and not on their relationship to victims. The Graham Capill case is a case in point, thanks to a wise judge and responsible media coverage.”
“The current message to sexual predators is, if you plan to rape or sexually exploit countless children, make sure at least one victim is a relative. This will ensure that the Courts will grant you permanent anonymity. This has got to change. We urge Judges and media to stop perpetuating the anonymity of child sexual predators and collaborate more effectively on reporting guidelines in cases that involve the wider community.”
The perpetrator remains in the community while he awaits sentencing, which is set down for 22 October 2014 in the Hastings District Court.
Stop Demand Foundation calls for action to stop sexual violence, sexual exploitation
and sexual denigration of women and children www.stopdemand.org
ENDS

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