Victim in video sex case says her life ruined

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2014

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A teenager who videoed his friends having sex with a drunk young woman has received a community-based sentence.

However Jack Angus Greenslade, 18, failed in his bid to have a discharge without conviction and to have his name permanently suppressed.

In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, Judge Allan Roberts said the community deserved to know who was involved in the high-profile case.

The representative age-group rugby player who pleaded guilty in November last year to a charge of making an intimate visual recording at an Oakura house party on October 11.

Greenslade then posted the video on a private Facebook page accessed by other close friends.

Greenslade received four months community detention by way of a curfew from 7pm to 7am seven days a week, and 125 hours community work after the $5000 offered to the victim for emotional harm was taken into account.

The two 18-year-old friends, who have interim name suppression, have pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the 17-year-old, including rape, sexual violation and indecent assault, in the same incident.

One of the two has also been charged with taking an intimate visual recording.

The two are to go to trial later this year.

Yesterday, the New Plymouth District Court heard Greenslade told police he initially thought what he was doing was funny and believed the three were having consensual sex in the bedroom.

But the victim, who has name suppression, said in her impact statement to the court that the effect of what Greenslade did ruined her life.

It had an impact on many of her New Plymouth friendships.

"There was a time when she was with a couple of friends in a car, when a car pulled up next to us the boys in the car started calling me a slut," the victim statement said.

"The overall incident has been significant for me and my mum and dad.

"I have lost a friend as a direct result and there have been divided loyalties with others due to social media, text messages, rumours and innuendo about me and the incident.

"It is terrible and simply unfair," she wrote.

Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich said aggravating factors included the vulnerability of the victim because of her high level of intoxication.

There was a degree of premeditation because Greenslade returned to the bedroom.

The breach of privacy was at a serious level because he then published the video on Facebook, the resultant dissemination increasing the level of humiliation and impact on his victim.

Mitigating factors accepted by the Crown were Greenslade's early guilty plea, his clear remorse and attempt at apologising through the restorative justice system - a move rejected by the female victim - and his previous good character.

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Greenslade's defence lawyer Turitea Bolstad called for a discharge without conviction on the grounds the consequences of the conviction would be out of all proportion to the offence.

Ms Bolstad asked that the vast publicity surrounding the Roast Busters case in Auckland should be set aside when considering Greenslade's case.

The video of three people in sexual positions which he put on Facebook contained only of 5 to 10 seconds of sexual content. He believed the acts were consensual between all three participants.

"It was a foolish and unconsidered act by this young man," she said.

His prior rugby-related head injuries and depression also had an impact on his decision-making in not exercising good judgment on the night, reducing his culpability to the lower end of the scale of offending, Ms Bolstad said.

A conviction would affect his future rugby prospects and reduce his ability to play for overseas teams, affect his future job prospects and be an impediment on his recovery, she said.

He had no prior convictions and police diversion was declined as was a face-to-face restorative justice process with his victim.

He had taken full responsibility for his actions and made full and frank statements and sought professional support.

Greenslade also offered emotional harm payment of $5000 to the female victim and her family. His lawyer also asked for a final order for suppression.

Judge Roberts said Greenslade had twice gone into a bedroom, when the door had been closed, and taken recordings of sexual activity between the intoxicated

young woman and two men.

The young woman did not know of his actions and had not consented to the filming.

When it came to her attention he had posted the video on Facebook she was devastated.

Greenslade acknowledged he made a stupid decision with encouragement.

His victim was disgusted at what he did, the judge said. It angered her greatly that he thought what he did was a laugh. Her life had hit rock bottom and she had been unfairly targeted.

Her mother was devastated and understandably so, he said. She was angry her daughter's privacy was invaded.

His actions were foolish in the extreme and could not be seen at the lower end of offending, the judge said.

"I'm far from satisfied a conviction will spell the end of a career in rugby," the judge said in declining a discharge without conviction.

New Zealanders were very forgiving and there were other sports people for whom convictions had no impact, the judge said.

The judge refused name suppression saying there was no basis to do so.

Greenslade should be named given the depth of talk about town of the case and he considered the public had a right to know who was involved.

The judge also ordered forfeiture of the cellphone used during the offending.

- Taranaki Daily News

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