Sex workers slam acquittal

CONVICTED: Daniel Juan Daly was found guilty of assaulting a sex worker.
CONVICTED: Daniel Juan Daly was found guilty of assaulting a sex worker.

A jury blinded by prejudice "got it so wrong" when they acquitted a man of kidnapping, raping and sexually violating two sex workers, a prostitutes' advocate says.

Daniel Juan Daly, 29, was convicted, after a six-day High Court trial, of assaulting one of the Christchurch sex workers he asked for "rough sex".

The Christchurch jury found Daly not guilty of 11 other charges, including several sexual violations and assaulting one of the prostitutes with a knife.

Daly, who was previously jailed for smoking cannabis and having sex with a 13-year-old girl, denied the violent offending occurred.

The sex was consensual, he said.

Prostitutes' Collective regional co-ordinator Anna Reed sat through the trial and was "absolutely devastated" by the not-guilty verdicts.

"I can't believe how a jury got it so wrong. Maybe they believed that sex workers could be treated differently to other women," she said.

"It exposes the prejudices. If it was their daughter, or niece or grand-daughter coming home from a school ball and that had happened to them, it would have been completely different."

One of the complainants, a 20-year-old, said the verdict reflected society's view of prostitutes as "street scum".

"We're still people. We have a life away from the street, people care about us. We should be respected just as much as any other females," she said.

Abuse from passers-by and clients was commonplace, she said.

She had been attacked by three clients since she started working on the street in late 2012.

One client pushed her into some bushes, beat her up and stole her money.

Another tried to steal her money in a car. He punched and kicked her, climbed over her and pulled her out the passenger door, hitting her head on the door and concrete. He then tried to run her over, she said.

Daly's acquittal on the 11 violence charges had put her off laying formal complaints. A 12th charge was dropped. She had not laid complaints over the other two attacks.

"In my eyes, a predator has been allowed to walk free," she said.

Daly claimed he and a co-offender's sex with the 13-year-old in 2007 was consensual. He admitted six charges of having sexual connection with a girl and was jailed for eight months.

Daly has past convictions for blackmail and driving offences.

Canterbury police adult sexual assault team manager, Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney, said the two complainants were "very brave" and "were right to make a complaint".

Daly is on bail until he is sentenced on August 14.

The Press