Assistant raped and abducted, court hears

Last updated 14:46 17/06/2013
Michael Lihou
Fairfax NZ
ACCUSED: Michael Lihou

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A teenager who says she was raped by a man she was helping to write his memoirs was too scared to read police documents among the pages she was working on for him.

The teen, now 18, says he raped and kidnapped her, and took her into the Wairarapa countryside before she was rescued by police.

In the High Court in Wellington today a jury of seven women and five men have seen a police interview with the girl after she and Michael Shane Lihou, 44, were found on a farmer's property near Carterton last July.

Later she told police that she had been working as his "PA". He had had her put numbers on more than 400 pages.

Among them were police documents about him. She said she had tried not to read them otherwise she would have freaked out.

He told her not to tell anyone.

The Crown says Lihou's treatment of the girl has similarities with two other incidents, one in the 1980s and one in the 1990s in which Lihou was proven to have held two women, one of whom was taken into the countryside and raped several times.

Lihou's lawyer, Noel Sainsbury, said it was disputed that there were similarities between what was being alleged in the various incidents.

He also said the jury should be looking at what the teenager knew about the earlier incidents.

What she already knew might be significant to deciding why the teenager's complaint against Lihou came out in the way it did, Sainsbury said.

He asked the jury to think about how the teenager was found and the questions that needed to be answered from her father, her boyfriend and the police.

She told the police in the recorded interview that she had been given cannabis and made to drink alcohol until she felt sick. She was assaulted and raped before Lihou made her walk with him into the countryside.

They were caught in a farmer's hayshed and made to move. Another farmer called the police when he saw a fire lit near trees on his property.

Lihou has pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape, two of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, two of assault, and one each of abduction and threatening to kill.

His trial is expected to last five days.

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- The Dominion Post

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