National | Crime

Teen that raped multiple girls gets home detention

A decision on whether a teenager convicted of raping multiple girls will get permanent name suppression, has been reserved. Photo / NZME

WARNING: This story discusses sexual abuse and may be upsetting.

The Auckland teenager who was sentenced to home detention and supervision after he raped and sexually violated multiple teenage girls is fighting to keep his name secret.

The teenager's lawyer, Emma Priest, argued during a name suppression hearing in the High Court at Auckland that if named the young man will be labelled as a serial teen rapist for life.

"He understands his offending was wrong and has engaged in rehabilitative treatment," Priest told the court.

"There is significant media interest in this case. Three victims have already waived their name suppression to speak to media," she said.

"There is potential for my client to become the poster boy for consent to be taught in schools.

"But his offending is linked to his autism disorder. This is not the object of open justice."

Priest argued the teen's mental health disabilities including his previous diagnosis of ADHD, his autism diagnosis and his substance abuse and depression would mean being named would be too much for him to cope with.

She also argued the extreme hardship being named would have on the family of the rapist.

"There is no peace to be gained by publicity."

Appearing for Open Justice, NZME lawyer Kristin Wilson argued name suppression should be dropped, saying there is a strong public interest in the offender's name and open justice principles to be carried out.

"Young women, in particular, should be able to know that this man has pleaded guilty against multiple sexual offences. They should be able to know what has occurred and choose whether they interact with him or not.

"After his home detention has ended, he can still go out and attend parties just like anyone else. People should be able to know about his past and get to choose whether they surround themselves with him or not."

Wilson went on to address the issue of the defendant becoming a poster boy for consent.

"He did engage in sexual offending against multiple girls over a long amount of time, he is not the victim here.

"These women have quite bravely and boldly had their name suppression lifted. This shouldn't be used to keep the defendant's name suppressed."

Wilson also argued to have the school's permanent name suppression lifted.

"Everyone within this community already knows what happened at this school. Arguments the school community could suffer hardship if suppression is dropped is invalid - they already know."

But Lawyer Katie Hogan, representing the school, said it would unfairly become the focus if identified.

She also addressed Wilson's point of the community already knowing which school was involved.

"There is no evidence to support the submission that everyone in the community already knows of the school."

The convicted rapist was present in court this morning, sitting with his head bowed for the majority of the hearing.

His parents were also present, sitting at the back of the courtroom.

It comes after multiple women made rape and sexual assault complaints to police following incidents between 2017 and 2020.

He was arrested and charged in 2020 with rape, unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault against five victims and pleaded guilty to all charges.

During sentencing in April, Judge Claire Ryan declined the 19-year-old's application for permanent name suppression but his lawyer John Corby immediately appealed.

NZME and other media challenged that leading to today's hearing.

The judge started with a prison sentence of 7.5 years but gave the man discounts for his guilty pleas as well as his youth, his mental health issues, his autism and the rehabilitation he had undergone.

After discounts, the man was left with 24 months' imprisonment. But expert advice was that sending him to prison would see him learning from more experienced sexual offenders.

"I don't want to see you back here as an older offender much more skilled in…committing sexual violence," Judge Ryan said.

She imposed a sentence of 12 months of home detention and 12 months' supervision and reminded him if he breached the conditions of his sentence he would be jailed.

"What you did to these young women was appalling… you've got the rest of your life to make up for what you've done. This is a chance for long-term rehabilitation."

A decision on permanent name suppression for both the teenager and the school has been reserved and will be released by Justice Simon Moore in the coming weeks.

Suppression will continue until then.

Sexual harm - Where to get help

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email
• For more info or to web chat visit
Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it's not your fault.

Mental health - Where to get help
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633 or text 234 (available 24/7)
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (12pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or text 4202 (available 24/7)
• Anxiety helpline: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Open Justice