Teenage assistant alleges multiple rape

ACCUSED: Michael Lihou
ACCUSED: Michael Lihou

A convicted rapist accused of abducting and raping a Wairarapa teenager had some "stupid witch stuff" going on, the teenager says.

In the High Court at Wellington today she agreed Michael Shane Lihou had been concerned when he learned she had a cut as a result of self-harm.

"He told me he wanted my blood to be pure for some stupid witch stuff, which is why he was concerned about me cutting."

The court has adjourned early twice today, on each occassion because the 18-year-old has become upset in the witness box.

Lihou, 44, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges including rape, abduction and threatening to kill, alleged to have occurred early last July. Police found the pair together on a farm. She said Lihou forced her to walk there after she was repeatedly raped.

Earlier today she agreed she had found out about his previous convictions for raping one young woman and kidnapping her, as well as kidnapping another woman.

She had agreed to work for him and had seen police and court documents about him, she agreed.

She agreed that neither that nor the witchcraft she alleged had stopped her seeing him.

Her chin trembled and she dabbed her eyes when Lihou's lawyer, Noel Sainsbury challenged her witchcraft claim.

"That is simply nonsense to say there was some witchcraft thing going on.

"There was no witchcraft business at all?"

"There was," she replied.

"It was him, nobody else knew about it but my sister," she said.

The court has heard he wanted to write about his life, but the teen told a jury of seven women and five men that she did not know that she was supposed to be helping him write the book.

She agreed she had a laptop and he did not have a computer so she sometimes sent emails for him. She denied that Lihou had asked her to type out work he was going to dictate.

She said she had numbered some documents for him and agreed there were a lot of police or court documents.

She said she had not read the documents, but just numbered them.

However, questioned further she agreed she had known what he had been in prison for.

"You knew he had been convicted for kidnapping and raping a young woman?"


"And had ended up going to prison for it?"


"And there had been a second incident where he had been convicted of kidnapping?"


"And you knew about these things before the third of July?"


The trial is supposed to last the rest of the week.


Lihou is accused of raping the teen several times before forcing her to walk from Carterton to farmland as part of what was allegedly a two-day ordeal.

Police found the pair together when a farmer spotted a fire on his property. Earlier a neighbour had ordered them out of his hay shed and told people in the area to be on the lookout for them.

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

Through his lawyer he says the teenager was not held against her will, they had sex consensually but not the six times alleged, and she was not assaulted.

In a recorded interview played in court yesterday, the teenager said she went to get her pay from Lihou as arranged in the evening.

She was paid $20 an hour but the only work she did for Lihou was numbering pages. Other times she had to walk around with him, text for him, and visit places with him while he got her "more and more stoned", she said.

They had met through a mutual friend and he asked her to be his personal assistant.

"I said: So long as it's nothing to do with killing anybody; I said yeah," she told police.

Lihou's lawyer has asked the jury to consider what she learned about incidents from his client's past. Jurors might find it significant to explain why the teenager's complaint came out the way it did, he said. The jury should also think about the questions the teenager had to answer after the incident, Sainsbury said.

The Dominion Post