The prominent businessman who sexually assaulted three men then tried to bribe one not to testify, was jailed for two years and four months.
The man, a former rich-lister, was convicted of three counts of indecent assault in 2000 or 2001, in 2008 and 2016. The incidents took place at the man’s home in Auckland.
He was also convicted of two other counts of attempting to deter the 2016 victim with bribes, by a jury in March.
His name remains deleted for legal reasons. Judge Geoffrey Venning sentenced the man to two years and four months in Auckland High Court on Thursday.
Immediately after sentencing, the man’s lawyer said he would file an appeal and apply for bail, pending the appeal. The bail request was heard in a separate session Thursday morning.
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Crown attorney Simon Foote opposed bail.
Justice Venning said the appeal was received by the Court of Appeal. He refused the request.
At the earlier sentencing hearing, Judge Venning also ordered the man to take a first strike under the Three Strike Regime.
The judge said it was in the accused’s best interests to bribe the victim not to testify, and he was prepared to spend large sums.
He used third parties to separate himself from the offense.
“You asked others to do your dirty work,” Judge Venning said.
A pre-sentence report said the man lacked empathy and had not accepted verdicts intending to appeal.
“You see yourself as a victim of the big poppy syndrome,” Justice Venning said.
During sentencing, Crown Attorney Simon Foote QC said the man used his wealth, privileges and power to sexually assault three men.
He said the man continued to vehemently deny his guilt and said there had been two other major attempts to prevent one of them from testifying.
Foote said this was one of the most serious cases of witness deterrence in New Zealand and that the man was the ringleader.
The man’s attorney, David Jones QC, argued it was Mika X and immunity witnesses Jevan Goulter and Alison Edmonds who played key roles in deterring the 2016 victim and pulling the strings.
Jones QC argued that his client should receive discounts for his “unprecedented contribution” to the country.
He said there were many letters of support, but asked the writers to remove their identities.
Earlier this month, Thing revealed that the businessman appeared to put his name on an email sent to 167 people and group email addresses, requesting letters of support to keep him out of jail.
The defense attorney said the man’s health problems would be made worse in prison.
At trial, the jury heard about an influential man who “used his position of strength in a criminal manner.”
“He indecently assaulted three young men who came to ask for help in their … efforts,” Foote said.
The plaintiffs were credible, the prosecution said, and their accounts proved “behavior” by the businessman.
In the previous two cases, the two men had been invited to the businessman’s home for business meetings. In both cases, they had been given alcohol and the assaults took place after being taken into the house.
One of the men believed the businessman had spiked his drink with drugs.
In the 2016 assault, the complainant lived and worked at home and told the court he had food poisoning the night he was assaulted. The businessman got up to his bed and “spooned” him, then sexually assaulted him.
Foote read the victim impact statement of the 2016 complainant who also tried to stop testifying against the man.
The victim said he did not feel safe returning to New Zealand after the assaults and had to move to Australia for his safety and his career had suffered.
The victim in the early 2000s addressed the court saying the businessman said he did not remember the victim after being assaulted 20 years earlier.
“I never forgot what happened that night and relived it many times.”
He said he was then forced to politely interact with the man – years later, and it was only with the Me Too movement that he was forced to properly confront what had happened. past.
The man addressed his attacker directly, telling him that he had not forgiven him, but hopes that one day the time will allow him to forget.
The third victim said that when he found out someone else had approached the police, it gave him the courage to come forward.
“I have been told over and over that I am a liar … I have been accused of being arrogant, vengeful and weird … but the reality is that I am just a victim of [the businessman] who holds him responsible, ”said the man.
He said the legal process had been painful, aggressive and humiliating.
The man said the power taken from the three victims of the “selfish and dangerous person” has now changed.
The businessman is the third to be convicted of involvement in a complex conspiracy to force the original complainant, who was sexually assaulted in his bed at the businessman’s home in 2016, to give up his complaint to the police.
Artist and film producer Mika X is serving an 11-month house arrest sentence for having acted twice as an intermediary for the businessman.
The man’s business manager, whose name is also deleted, was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest for his party in the regime.
Where to get help with sexual violence
- Rape crisis 0800 88 33 00, click on the link for local helplines.
- Safe to talk: a confidential 24/7 helpline 0800 842 846, SMS 4334, webchat safetotalk.nz or send an email to [email protected]
- The port Online assistance and information for people affected by sexual abuse.
- Refuge for women 0800 733 843 (women only)
- Aotearoa male survivors Telephone support throughout New Zealand, click to learn more (men only)
- If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 111.
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