Rape accused says sex was consensual

Last updated 12:45 20/06/2013
Michael Lihou
Fairfax NZ
ACCUSED: Michael Lihou

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The man accused of raping and abducting a Wairarapa teenager says she had stayed with him willingly and initiated sex.

Giving evidence in the High Court at Wellington today Michael Shane Lihou, 44, said the teenager, then 17, was a friend who went with him to the room where he was living on the top floor of a large shed in Carterton.

Lihou said he had re-established himself after leaving prison in July 2010 and was living on the property of a couple who helped former prisoners.

He was intending to write an autobiography and the teenager had computer skills that he lacked so he paid her to help him. But in her evidence she said she was not sure about the book project.

He had asked her to number more than 400 pages, some of them were Corrections and police documents about Lihou.

She agreed that among the documents she had seen she had observed that he had been in prison and that he was supposed to have kidnapped and raped a young woman.

The jury has heard details of two earlier sets of convictions Lihou has, one from 1988 and the other from 1996, when he forced women to go with him.

One of the victims, a 16-year-old, was raped and taken through the countryside for several days.

He is facing eight charges at his trial this week. He 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.

In his evidence today Lihou said the teenager he met in Carterton last year had come to his room to drink alcohol and smoke cannabis on July 3.

They both vomited after drinking and the teenager started undressing and initiated sex with him.

In her evidence earlier this week the teenager said she was forced to drink and was raped six times.

Lihou said they had sex once.

"We had smoked too much dope, drunk too much alcohol, commonsense," he told the jury.

She said Lihou had taken her phone from her, stopped her from leaving, and made her walk with him in the very early morning into rural land to the west of Carterton.

But Lihou said they had planned to see a friend of his who worked part time on a farm, the journey was agreed and he had understood she had texted her father to say where she was and what she was doing. Lihou said he saw the words "Sweet as" on the screen of her phone.

When they were walking to see his friend she told him she was not 19-going-on-20, as he had believed, he said.

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Lihou's evidence is continuing. The trial is due to end tomorrow.

- The Dominion Post

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