A 38-year-old man who admitted indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl on a bus initially told police he did not touch her and refused to make a statement.
Mark Aussie Toa appeared before Judge John Macdonald in Invercargill District Court yesterday for sentence for indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl on August 14 and assaulting a female at Picton on September 6.
He was given a warning under the three-strikes law and sentenced to 10 months' jail. He was convicted and discharged for breaching District Court bail on August 21 and September 14.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Denise Harvey said Toa was on a bus from Auckland to Wellington along with a 16-year-old girl he did not know.
During the trip he was consuming alcohol before moving seats and sitting down beside the girl. About five minutes later he put his hand on her inner left thigh. She asked him not to touch her and to take his hand off her but he kept it there and asked if it was all right. The girl said no and his hand was removed but he placed it there again not long after.
She shouted at him to remove his hand, which he did, causing the other passengers to become aware of what was going on. She did not suffer any injuries but was upset and traumatised, Ms Harvey said.
When Toa was spoken to by police, he denied touching her and refused to make a statement.
Judge Macdonald said the girl was a complete stranger and had done nothing to provoke what he did.
The court was also told that on September 6 he kicked and punched a woman. She had feared for her safety and thought he was going to kill her.
- The Southland Times