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NZ: Man in jail for sex-texts threat (Waikato)

Publish Date: 08 Dec 2011
Source: Waikato Times
By: Rob Kidd and Angela Cuming

MANIPULATIVE: A Hamilton man forced a woman to have sex with him by threatening to send intimate photos to her family. Photo/Fairfax NZ.

James Leonard Williams, 33, is in custody, awaiting sentencing after a Hamilton High Court jury yesterday found him guilty of two counts of blackmail, one of rape and one of threatening to kill. The verdict came after a two-day trial.

Williams sent hundreds of text messages to the victim through December last year in an attempt to get what he said he was "owed".

He said he required two or three "sex sessions" before deleting the phone numbers of the woman's family and her employer, otherwise he said he would send them intimate pictures of her.

Dr Kim McGregor, executive director of Rape Prevention Education Whakatu Mauri told the Waikato Times such cases are growing in conjunction with the use of technology and social networking.

"We have seen similar examples of threats being used to manipulate women by the use of photographs and we have seen the use of text (messaging) sexual harassment, sexual bullying and manipulations," she said.

"The underlying issue, remains the same, what is different is the expanded use of technology to conduct the same types of threats, manipulation and coercive power that is already practised," she said.

She said women should not be forced into changing their behaviour, and can help themselves by doing things such as refusing to pose for intimate photographs.

"It is the same principal as understanding that a woman who wears a short skirt was not asking to be raped.

"We have to be shifting the responsibility from the shoulders of young women and on to the men who perpetrate violence against them," Dr McGregor said.

The jury was provided with a booklet containing the 1600 text messages containing explicit details of what he expected from the victim.

"You better let me have my way good and proper," one of the tamer ones said.

Crown prosecutor Rebecca Guthrie said the pressure on the complainant became too great and on Christmas Day last year she finally gave in to his demands.

"Despite making her feelings very clear, in an effort to try and stop him, she ended up having sex with the accused," she said.

"When she did have sex with him, it was because it was the only option she could see to placate him."

The texts continued into the new year.

Then, on January 6 the woman started getting similar messages urging her to see Williams, from someone calling himself "Jamie", on a different number.

The Crown said the messages were clearly from the accused – resulting in the second charge of blackmail – and Ms Guthrie said it was "farcical" to suggest anyone else had any interest in the pair's affairs.


Copyright © 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6104790/Man-in-jail-for-sex-text-threats