Sentence summary: Rape
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The offender, aged 29, and his 17-year-old victim were members of a large extended family. The offender, whom the victim trusted as a brother, was charged with driving her to a friend’s house, but when the friend could not be contacted they agreed they should go to his house. The offender and victim both fell asleep in the offender’s bedroom. When the offender awoke he kissed the sleeping victim on the mouth, pulled down her shorts and underwear and penetrated her vagina with his penis for about a minute without using a condom and without ejaculating. The victim woke up, pushed the offender off, began to cry and left the house. The offender apologised and later handed himself into police.
The offender pleaded guilty to rape.
The judge found the offender’s actions were a gross breach of trust. The victim was still a child and a member of his family group who was trusted as a brother. The victim was entitled to believe that she would be safe. The offender knew she was not consenting.
The offender’s previous good character, guilty plea, remorse, family and community support and lack of drug, alcohol or mental health issues meant he had very good prospects for rehabilitation.
The judge took into account that imprisonment would be more difficult because of his separation from his wife, daughter and parents. The prospect of deportation to the Cook Islands on completion of the sentence would make prison more onerous.
However, the gravity of the offending was such that only imprisonment would adequately meet the sentencing objectives of denunciation, punishment and general deterrence.
Specific deterrence also needed to be taken into account because the offender had been prepared to succumb to temptation. He must understand severe consequences would follow if he did so again.
The offender was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and three months.