Auckland teenage rapist fights to have his name removed in Court of Appeal

The man’s attorney confirmed that an appeal had been filed. Picture/file

An Auckland teenager who raped and sexually assaulted several girls has taken his fight for name removal to the Court of Appeal.

The attacker, now 19, was sentenced to house arrest and surveillance by Auckland District Court in April.

He also asked for the name to be permanently removed, but was refused by Judge Claire Ryan, leading to an appeal to the High Court in August. This appeal was unsuccessful and a new challenge has now been filed in the Court of Appeal.

The teenager’s lawyer, Emma Priest, previously argued that if named, the youngster would be branded a serial rapist for life.

“There is significant media interest in this case. Three victims have already waived their names removed to speak to the media,” she said.

“My client may become the poster child for teaching consent in schools.

“But his delinquency is linked to his autistic disorder. It is not the object of open justice.

This deletion offer was opposed by the Herald’s NZME and Stuff publisher.

Investigations into the teenager began after several women filed rape and sexual assault complaints with police following incidents between 2017 and 2020.

He was arrested and charged with rape, unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault against five victims and pleaded guilty to all charges.

At his sentencing, Judge Ryan started with a 7.5-year prison term but gave the man reductions for his guilty pleas, his youth, his mental health issues, his autism and the rehabilitation he he had suffered.

“I don’t want to see you back here as an older offender who is much more adept at … committing sexual violence,” Judge Ryan said, imposing a sentence of 12 months house arrest and 12 months supervision.

She reminded him that if he violated the terms of his sentence, he would be imprisoned.

“What you did to these young women was appalling… you have the rest of your life to make up for what you did. This is a chance for long-term rehabilitation.

One of the survivors who waived her right to deletion, Mia Edmonds, said earlier that the face of the “calculating predator” was forever etched in her mind.

“I still often have nightmares about him,” she said. “I had a hard time walking away… He left me years of my life wasted.”

Sexual Abuse – Where to Get Help

If it is an emergency and you think you or someone else is in danger, call 111.

• Call 0800 044 334

• Text 4334

• Email support@safetotalk.nz

• For more information or to chat on the web, visit safetotalk.nz. You can also contact your local police station – click here for a list. If you’ve been sexually assaulted, remember that it’s not your fault.

Mental Health – Where to Get Help

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

• Suicide crisis hotline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

• Youthline: 0800 376 633 or SMS 234 (available 24/7)

• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

• What’s New: 0800 942 8787 (12:00-23:00)

• Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 or SMS 4202 (available 24/7)

• Anxiety Helpline: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) (available 24/7)

• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 If this is an emergency and you think you or someone else is in danger, call 111.

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