Sex attacker's victim may visit him in prison

Last updated 11:58 09/02/2013
Terry Evlis Karaka
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
JAILED: Terry Karaka was sentenced for sexual offences in the High Court at Wellington yesterday.

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A woman held prisoner in her home and sexually abused over several hours believes her attacker can be a good man and may visit him in prison.

Terry Elvis Karaka, 35, entered her home while she was asleep in May 2011.

He prevented her from escaping and spent about four hours there, sexually assaulting her three times.

The woman, from Wellington, said in a statement to the court the attack had turned her world upside down and changed the way she lived.

She now locked herself in to have a shower and could no longer use the bedroom where the attack happened.

"It is impossible to express the fear I felt and there was nothing I could do," she said.

She wanted Karaka to get treatment.

"My goal is that one day he can look in a mirror and see a respected, successful and happy man," she said, showing what Justice Young, in the High Court at Wellington, described as remarkable humanity.

The 50-year-old woman spoke calmly, with a friend by her side, and stayed to hear the judge sentence Karaka to 12 years' jail, with an order to serve at least seven.

Karaka had been convicted of three charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

The woman said she would like to start visiting Karaka in a safe environment, such as prison.

"He has a lot to offer but he does not see it," she said. "It is not as bleak as it appears. He is not lost."

Karaka, who listened silently while his victim spoke, would like to see her in prison too. In a letter, he said he was greatly ashamed and would like to make an apology in person if it could be arranged.

Justice Young told Karaka that the victim's kind attitude towards him did nothing to diminish the effect of his crimes on her.

Karaka had a previous conviction for rape, in similar circumstances, from 1996. Justice Young said he was asked by the Crown to consider preventive detention but he decided, by a narrow margin, to impose a finite sentence.

He said that although the two attacks were similar, they were 17 years apart and Karaka had no relevant convictions between them.

Karaka's lawyer, Chris Nicholls, said Karaka was motivated to get help and could undertake a sex offender programme while in prison.

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- The Dominion Post

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