Serial rapist faking dementia - victim

PHIL KITCHIN
Last updated 05:00 22/05/2012

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A second victim of a serial rapist who kept a woman as a sex slave believes he is exaggerating mild dementia to avoid being sent to prison.

The woman, who is related to the man, was raped by him when she was a 15-year-old visiting him during school holidays.

The Dominion Post revealed yesterday that a judge has accepted that the man, now 79, committed what amounts to hundreds of rapes involving four young women.

However, he is expected to walk free after a court hearing next month because he has mild dementia. Medical experts say he is unfit to stand trial.

His female relative believes he is pretending to have dementia to beat the charges. "I think it is a load of bullshit, to be quite honest. It is his cunning dog way of getting out of it," she said.

She believed his claim to be suffering dementia, coupled with extensive court delays in hearing his case, meant the justice system had failed the four victims.

Police have told her they believe there are other women who were too scared to lay a complaint.

"I feel like I could go down there and blow his legs off and I beat myself up for not pressing charges when it happened to me ... If I had done that then [another of the rape victims] wouldn't be going through this.

"And all the others wouldn't have gone through it. If I had done something it might have stopped," she said.

The relative told police she was a 15-year-old virgin when the man raped her in a remote bush hut in the North Island during the Christmas school holidays in 1970.

She describes him as a "mongrel" who raped her and later "beat the hell out of me" with nylon rope in an attack that broke one of her fingers.

The Dominion Post revealed yesterday that a woman told police in September 2008 that the man had repeatedly raped her and kept her as a sex slave for five months at a different remote location. She was the first to lay a complaint and at least three more women, including the man's relative, were subsequently spoken to by police.

The female relative said she did not know who had made a complaint when she spoke to police. She had confided the rape to a flatmate about five years after it happened.

The woman said it was "absolutely disgusting" that the first complainant had so far waited 3½ years for justice – only to be told the man was going to walk free.

"Why should it take so long? They should have set a date and got it over and done with."

The man is facing 14 charges, including rape, abduction and unlawful sexual connection. He is due back in court next month, when the charges are expected to be stayed, which means the prosecution is stopped for legal reasons and he walks free.

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He is also seeking permanent name suppression, but the sex slave victim and his relative plan to challenge this.

The female relative, who with the other victims has automatic name suppression, agreed that the public should know the horror the man inflicted.

In her statement to police the relative said the man raped her on an old bed in a bush hut, with another man in a nearby room.

"I said, 'Don't do this or I'll scream out' ... he said, 'It's no good screaming, that guy's not going to do anything anyway.'

"I was scared. I was brought up to respect and do as I was told. And that's basically why he got away with what he did because he knew I wouldn't go and tell anybody because I was too scared to."

The woman said the man later left her in an isolated gorge she could not escape from. She later discovered he had made a bet with another relative on who would "get into me first".

At another location the man later "dragged me inside and beat the crap out of me ... belting me with a nylon rope. He was hitting me on my arms, legs and body.

"When I had hold of the rope he jumped on my hand that was on the floor ... that's when he broke one of my fingers. He beat the hell out of me."

COURT DELAYS 'PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE' FOR RAPIST'S VICTIM

Repeated court delays in the serial rapist's case have added to his first victim's trauma, a sex abuse expert says.

Rape Prevention Education director Kim McGregor said of the 27 hearings held over a two-year period: "It's a sort of slow psychological torture having to wait, not knowing when she would have to prepare herself to face cross-examination.

"Most people underestimate just how much rape survivors have to put their life on hold during the trial process."

It seemed cruel that any possible illness the accused faced had not been assessed at the beginning. "Surely this case and cases like it should have priority. It should not take so long.

"What's happening is a battle of attrition. Many survivors of sexual violence give up before they get to court - they just can't stand it any more."

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said he was appalled by the "deteriorating and shambolic antics" being allowed in court.

He had followed the "legal hijinks" for many months and said the process was being abused. "I think it's safe for me to say I have met some of the victims involved and my heart goes out to them."

- The Dominion Post

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