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NZ: Name suppression for child porn man criticised (Manawatu-Whanganui)

Publish Date: 20 Jul 2011
Source: Stuff.co.nz / Fairfax NZ
By: NZPA

A Court of Appeal decision granting name suppression to a man guilty of possessing images of child rape is a blow to child rape victims here and around the world, says a group fighting sexual violence against children.

The Manawatu man, 50, who admitted 21 charges of possessing objectionable material, was sentenced to six months' home detention and fined $5250 at the end of last year. In a decision released today, the appeal court ruled his name should be kept secret to protect his family members.

The 100 pictures, videos and text files on his computer showed children as young as 18 months involved in sexual acts, including rape.

The images, which depicted violent sex acts including pack rape on children from toddlers to teens, some of whom were bound and gagged while being raped by men, were downloaded off the internet over a two and half year period...

The judges said that publishing the man's name would lead to ''incalculable hurt'' to his family. The man was also assessed as a low to medium risk of reoffending.

Stop Demand Foundation founder Denise Ritchie said that the precedent from such a high-standing court in New Zealand was a big blow for child rape victims everywhere, and went against international efforts to crack down harder on offenders.

The man's original sentence was ''paltry'' after he was found with 900 pages of text describing bestiality, incest and other sexual violations on children, she said.

The images, which depicted violent sex acts including pack rape on children from toddlers to teens, some of whom were bound and gagged while being raped by men, were downloaded off the internet over a two and half year period, Ms Ritchie said.

''It seems the Court of Appeal had more regard for this sex offender and his family than the countless numbers of child rape victims and their families.

''These victims will be identifiable.  They will live the rest of their lives without anonymity, with the knowledge that predators who fuel the demand for their images do so in order to replay their rape and degradation for their own sexual excitement and release.''

Ongoing secrecy through name suppression was not a signal that should be coming from the courts, Ms Ritchie said.

''Naming offenders increases their future accountability to others.  It reflects the gravity of offending and hopefully acts as a deterrent to others.''

That the Court of Appeal was willing to show leniency to this man and his family was ''a slap in the face to child victims of rape and sexual exploitation'', Ms Ritchie said.

''Hurt to family members is a given with every crime and something he should have thought about prior to his offending.

''If we are to make inroads into stopping this modern-day sexual abuse of children here and overseas, we must work to stop the demand for such images.''

In February last year another Manawatu man, described as ''prominent'', was granted permanent name suppression after he was found with more than 300,000 pornographic images, many of children. Name suppression was granted to protect his family, his mental state, his wife's job and his ability to rehabilitate.


Copyright © 2012 Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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