Crown seeks preventive detention for prisoner who forced teenage cellmate into oral sex

Stephen Mark Gotty has 142 prior convictions dating back to 1976, including rape and indecent assault.
CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Stephen Mark Gotty has 142 prior convictions dating back to 1976, including rape and indecent assault.

A repeat sexual offender who violated his teenage cellmate in prison may be kept behind bars indefinitely.

Stephen Mark Gotty forced the 19-year-old to engage in oral sex while they were bunking together, telling the young man he was "his b.... now".

Gotty was due to be sentenced at the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, but his case has now been transferred to the High Court, which will consider Crown prosecutor Nick Williams' application for preventive detention.

A pre-sentence report assessed Gotty as having a significant likelihood of reoffending, with a "very high" risk of harm to others.

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He has 142 prior convictions dating back to 1976, including rape and indecent assault.

His most recent sexual conviction relates to an incident at Mt Eden Corrections Facility in January 2016.

Gotty's victim had by that point been in the remand facility for about two weeks, and had limited experience with prison life.

The pair knew each other from outside jail.

After the teen became dissatisfied with his accommodation in the prison, Gotty suggested they shared a cell and helped him transfer his belongings.

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Gotty offered the young man the bottom bunk, but then moved his mattress onto the floor from the top bunk, so the pair were sleeping alongside each other.

The prosecution argued this was so he was in a better position to make advances - however, Gotty denied this.

The conversation moved in a disturbing direction on the night of the first lockdown after the teen moved in.

He said Gotty started talking about previous cellmates, "real twisted stuff and sexual stuff", and then asked the teen to engage in oral sex.

The teen did not want to, but felt he had no choice because Gotty was physically intimidating and had boasted about violence against other prisoners.

He did not resist when Gotty pulled his pants down and began performing a sex act.

Gotty argued it was consensual - however, Judge Christopher Field said consent given based on fear did not constitute true consent.

The teen later said he felt he could not call out or push the emergency button in the cell, because he was afraid of how Gotty may have reacted during the delay between the time the button was pushed and when prison staff responded.

Judge Field raised concerns about the length of time taken to respond to emergency alerts, but said that was ultimately a matter for prison authorities.

Gotty then demanded the teen reciprocate the sex act.

He held the young man's head and forced it onto his genitals, telling him he was "his b.... now".

The teen said he had a shower straight afterwards because he felt dirty, and later pretended to have a significant stomach ache to trick Gotty into calling for help.

Once he was released from the cell, it became clear to authorities that something out of the ordinary had happened.

The teen indicated he had been sexually assaulted, and an investigation proceeded from that point.

Gotty insisted the teen's complaint was a fabrication, and suggested he may be trying to obtain a compensation payout from ACC.

However Judge Field said he found the young man's evidence "credible and reliable".

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this happened as the complainant has said," he said.

"This was done without his consent. There was no way that the defendant could have believed on reasonable grounds that he did consent."

Gotty's conviction is his second strike under the three strikes law.

If he is convicted of any serious violent offences in the future he will be ineligible for parole or early release, and if convicted of murder he will sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Gotty is scheduled to appear again for sentencing on March 8 in the High Court at Auckland.

 - Stuff

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