Bouncer gets nine years for alleyway rape
A Wellington bouncer who raped a drunk young woman in an alleyway has been jailed for nine years.
George Jason Pule, 34, a bouncer at The Establishment bar, was found guilty by a Wellington District Court jury last month.
Defence lawyer Keith Jefferies caused outrage when he had told jurors the woman should have kept her legs closed.
She had thought Pule was her saviour when she ended up alone with no money and no cash card after she had been in town drinking with friends.
They had gone into a bar but she was unable to get in without identification. Pule had offered to help, saying he could get her in but needed to pick something up first.
He led her along Courtenay Place, holding her hand, then into back streets. He tried to kiss her and put his hands in her pants, but stopped when she said no. In the alleyway he pushed her up against a wall and raped her, stopping her from using her phone to call for help.
Judge Stephen Harrop said yesterday that Pule was seen as a safe, sober adult who was going to help her.
He said Pule besmirched all other workers such as bouncers in Courtenay Place.
The victim was determined not to let the attack define her, and had moved away from Wellington.
But she saw herself as weaker than she thought, and found the court process very stressful.
A risk of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease had added to her mental trauma, the judge said.
Pule had prior convictions for burglary, violence against women, and obstructing the course of justice.
Mr Jefferies said Pule had a good record of employment, had been a keen rugby player and had regularly attended a Mormon church.
He told the judge that Pule still maintained his innocence and said there was no trickery or coercion in the incident.
However, the judge rejected that, saying the victim had gone with Pule because he had falsely said he would get her into the bar.
Crown lawyer Geraldine Kelly said Pule had isolated the vulnerable victim and taken her to a remote area to rape her.
The Dominion Post