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NZ: Pair accused of kidnap, rape of teen (Waikato)

Publish Date: 10 Jan 2012
Source: Fairfax NZ News
By: Rob Kidd

Two men accused of abducting and raping a 15-year-old girl have been told the allegations are "as serious as it gets".

Benjamin Nilesh Goundar, 22, and a 25-year-old unemployed man with name suppression had bail applications denied by Judge David Ruth in Hamilton District Court yesterday, but the possibility of electronically monitored bail could yet see them released.

The pair are both charged with abduction, common assault, assault with intent to rape, assault with a blunt instrument, threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm, five counts of unlawful sexual connection and two of rape.

It's alleged in the early hours of December 29 the men picked up two girls, aged 15 and 17, in Hamilton and took them to a secluded location. When they stopped, the 17-year-old fled but she told police she heard the other girl scream as she was dragged back into the car.

Judge Ruth told Goundar it was alleged they then subjected her sexual acts "which if proved will likely have you and the co-offender in prison for many, many years".

In addition to a list of gruesome sex acts, the men are also jointly accused of burning the 15-year-old with a cigarette and punching the 17-year-old.

Defence counsel for the man with name suppression, Bruce Hesketh, called it "a very clear he-said-she-said situation" and said there was no dispute over his client's presence in the car.

The defence's position – which he said was quite different to the police summary of facts – was that the girls got in the car willingly and it was only when the older man wanted to stop to go to the toilet that the 17-year-old initiated a confrontation where she talked about the girls being "gangsters" who did not want to be out in the country with the men.

His client told Mr Hesketh they pushed each other before the girl took off and the men were left with the younger teen.

"The sexual involvement that occurred shortly after was consensual between him and the young girl in the back seat," he said.

The charges would be defended and Mr Hesketh said that, because of the backlog, it would probably be 2013 before the case went to trial.

Police prosecutor Andrea McBeth described the alleged offending as "predatory" and told the judge the two girls were severely traumatised and undergoing counselling.

Though Judge Ruth said the court was not in the habit of unnecessarily detaining relatively young men, both had offended while on bail in the past and he was satisfied there was a significant chance of reoffending.

However, defence counsel looks set to investigate the option of electronically monitored bail, which the judge said might be the extra safeguard to tip the scales in the men's favour for when they appear again next month.


Copyright © 2012 Fairfax NZ News
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