Taxi driver found not guilty
A Hamilton taxi driver was found not guilty of raping a 13-year-old passenger by a jury in Hamilton District Court today.
Lee Mao, also known as Richard Henry Taha, was found not guilty of doing an indecent act, rape and sexual violation on or about June 5 or 6, 2010.
Yesterday, Mao denied having sex or oral sex with the girl on the night after he picked her up at the intersection of London and Anglesea Sts.
In a police video interview played to the jury on day three of the trial yesterday, Mao said the girl was upset and claiming to have been indecently assaulted when he picked her up.
He admitted kissing the girl "3, 4, 5 times" when she was in his company, plus giving her another kiss goodbye when he dropped her off in the police station.
He said after picking her up he then drove her to McDonald's on Grey St for some food, before driving her to Shell Naylor St for an ice cream then driving back to McDonald's to finish eating it.
He also gave her a small amount of cash, along with his packet of cigarettes and a lighter.
When asked if he touched her breasts, he said it may have happened as he moved her handbag "or her body around the car" by adjusting the seatbelt.
When asked why he kissed her, he said: "because she's a Maori girl and as I said she looked like my family."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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