William Katipa rape trial begins at the High Court in Auckland

William Katipa is on trial for a number of sexual assaults while in prison.

William Katipa is on trial for a number of sexual assaults while in prison.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The trial of a prisoner accused of brutally raping three of his male cell mates has begun at the High Court in Auckland. 

Fifty-year-old William Katipa's trial started on Monday morning, with the graphic crimes he is accused of committing over nine years detailed to the jury.  

The South Auckland Correctional Facility where some of the alleged offending by Katipa occurred.
Lawrence Smith

The South Auckland Correctional Facility where some of the alleged offending by Katipa occurred.

Crown prosecutor Ned Fletcher explained how in 2015, a teenage prisoner was placed in the same cell as Katipa at the Serco run Auckland South Correctional Facility. 

Katipa was serving a sentence of preventive detention, while the teenager was months into a seven-year lag. 

The teenager's first impressions of Katipa were good, but on their first night things turned sinister, Fletcher said. 

After lights out, Katipa from the bottom bunk told the complainant a riddle: 'My eyes are closed, but I am still awake and I know I can trust you because I can feel you'. 

"He kept repeating the riddle… until ultimately the defendant delivered the punchline. He told him to take his clothes off and get into his bed," Fletcher said. 

The teenager thought Katipa was kidding, but the accused reiterated his demand telling him if he did not do so he would kill him. 

"The defendant wasn't joking. He told him to get the f... into his bed now." 

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Katipa is accused of then making the complainant perform oral sex and anal sex upon him.

Prison staff were unaware of what was occurring due to Katipa placing a towel over the cell window, the court heard. 

For the next seven days, Katipa is accused of making the man repeat the same routine. At one point, Katipa attempted to kiss the teenager. 

"The defendant was trying to kiss him saying he loved him, saying he loved no-one else and they were going to be together forever," Fletcher said. 

At least once, Katipa tried to have anal sex with the complainant, but didn't end up doing so. 

Eventually, the complainant told a prison staff member he wanted to move cells due to not getting along with Katipa.

The teenager was moved, and later confided in another prisoner about what had happened. They encouraged the man to tell staff, which he did. 

A police investigation was launched, in which two other victims, who were both prisoners, were identified.

One was a man who had previously laid a complaint about Katipa with police in 2006. 

This man, who had also double-bunked with Katipa, said he had made him perform anal sex and oral sex.

Katipa told the man "if he wanted to stay alive he had to become one with him," Fletcher said. 

The man's original complaint had not been progressed due to lack of evidence at the time. 

A third complainant, who had also been a cell mate, alleged he had tried to resist Katipa's advances but was knocked unconscious. He awoke to Katipa raping him. 

All three complainants told police they were scared about telling authorities due to Katipa's gang affiliations, and because he had threatened to kill them. 

Stuff is unable to report Katipa's previous convictions until the trial's conclusion. 

 - Stuff

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