Chch artist found guilty of raping teen

A jury has found a Christchurch man guilty of the kidnapping and rape of a drunken teenager he met in the central city in 2005.

The jury returned its verdicts after a retirement of about three hours in the High Court at Christchurch, at the end of a three-day trial before Justice Christian Whata.

Christopher Michael Robb, 44, an artist, had denied the charges but is now in custody awaiting sentence on May 22.

The jury convicted him of sexually violating the 18-year-old victim, kidnapping him by taking him to a rural road near Darfield and tying his hands, and indecently assaulting him.

It found Robb not guilty on a charge of stealing the youth's wallet. The victim claimed his attacker had stolen the wallet at the end of the sexual assault, before driving off.

The victim was picked up by a man who found him drunk and sick in Liverpool St in central Christchurch after a night drinking with friends. He was only partially conscious as he was driven out of town.

He could not identify the attacker, but Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said Robb had been identified through a DNA match years later.

Robb gave evidence claiming his DNA was found on the youth after a consensual sexual encounter in a Gloucester St carpark earlier that evening in May 2005.

Defence counsel Steve Hembrow said the victim alleged he had been attacked by a Maori driving a type of car that was different to Robb's car. Nor was Robb a Maori.

Justice Whata thanked the jury for their work. "The subject matter of the trial is unusual, no doubt, for all of you."

The Press