Abuser's death cheats victim of closure
A victim of sex offender Douglas Peters says death has cheated him of the chance for closure.
The man, who has name suppression, was looking forward to eyeballing his molester in the Auckland District Court yesterday.
But Peters, who was due to appear for sentencing after pleading guilty in June to 10 counts of sexual offending, died in Waikato Hospital on Tuesday night.
The victim, one of five boys and teens abused by the 68-year-old between 1978 and 1987, says he had been waiting a long time to confront the "rock spider" who hurt him.
"I feel robbed," he says. "It was my chance to face him and there isn't any closure.
"Sure he admitted what he did but it's like the cattle has already bolted after the gate's been shut."
The man was sexually abused between the age of 11 to 15 and met Peters through a sports organisation in west Auckland.
He says Peters offered him gifts and encouraged him to drink alcohol.
"That's when he began having his way with me too."
The man says most of his childhood was a blur.
He was finally able to break free from Peters when he left his west Auckland school and started working to become financially independent.
"I'm surprised that my parents didn't pick up on it.
"When I was younger everyone said I was going to be a comedian - but that all changed.
"I don't smile much anymore," he says.
The man spent time in prison and rehabilitation centres as his addiction to alcohol got worse.
He is now focused on getting his life on track.
"Things are getting better.
"I want other people who have been abused to come forward. Otherwise it just destroys you. As I got older I realised that what he did was not right.
"I want to try to help kids who have been violated because I know what it's like."
Detective Grainne Scott of the Henderson Adult Sexual Assault Team says the men who came forward have shown incredible strength and courage.
"Their braveness meant that the community was protected from this man and other children were kept safe."
Scott says it is possible there were others who came into contact with Peters over the years and police are still encouraging victims to come forward.
"While we won't be able to prosecute we can offer access to services that may help them."
- © Fairfax NZ News