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New Zealand law calls for change after rapist claimed to have ‘consensual’ sex with 12-year-old | New Zealand

Interrogation of a victim accused in court of “consenting” to sex with an adult when she was 12 puts New Zealand’s sexual assault laws in the spotlight, advocates call for an overhaul I’m looking for

Criminal Trisi Leiataua was convicted this week of 33 counts of sexual abuse against two girls. His youngest victim was eight years old when the abuse began. Both victims faced two weeks of grueling cross-examination, and it was the nature of Leiataua’s defense, rather than the final outcome of the trial, that sparked protests among New Zealand defenders.

At trial, Leia Taua argued that the assault on one of the girls, who was 12 years old at the time of the attack, was “consensual” and that it was not rape because she “tracked” him.

His defense drew on elements of New Zealand law that are generally not widely understood, in which the age of consent is generally 16, but consent remains for those charged with sexual assault with rape. It is a legal defense. Proponents say this needs to change so that children are no longer considered consenting parties to sexual activity with adults.

“Change is definitely needed,” said Kathryn McPhillips, executive director of sexual abuse organization HELP. She said, “It is immoral to advocate ideas that children can agree with…that is not at all consistent with what the public thinks about our law.”

McPhillips said being accused in court of lying and consenting to sexual activity caused further trauma to victims, especially children. “As an adult, it’s bad enough to be accused of something done to you, of intentionally harming you. It’s bad enough, but to be a child?

“An adult did this to you and another adult charges you in court…It’s a state of turning the world upside down in layers and the rights of all these adults to hurt you. It means that it is sanctioned by the state.”

Presiding Judge Richard Earwaker addressed the issue of consent for persons under the age of 16 on the final day of trial. The New Zealand Herald reported.

“By law, no one under the age of 16 can consent to an accusation of obscenity, so all a jury has to decide is whether obscenity took place,” he said. rice field. “However, when it comes to sexual intercourse, consent can be given to persons under the age of 16. You should consider whether consent has been given based on the evidence you have.

Defense attorney Marc Edgar alleges the victim had a consensual relationship, which she now regrets.

“Did she walk away from something she doesn’t remember because she regrets it? Maybe she was too young to realize it, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to go with it.” There is none.

Leiataua was found in Manukau District Court on four counts of sexual assault by rape, three counts of lewd conduct with a young person, one count of lewd assault, 10 counts of sexual violations by unlawful sexual relations and seven counts of other sexual violations. Convicted. , two counts of miscellaneous assault on a child and six charges of indecency against a child.

Leyva Zubair, a 17-year-old advocate and campaigner, has petitioned parliament to overhaul New Zealand’s consent law. time of action”.

She said New Zealand law needed an urgent review and the country could consider such an affirmative consent law. Introduced in New South Wales this year“The fact that our consent law doesn’t even have a definition of consent, and the fact that our law doesn’t protect children as young as 12, is just terrifying,” she said.

Zubair was appalled that lawyers could claim that a 12-year-old could give consent.

In 2021, a study commissioned by the Chief Victims Advisor (a formal role providing independent advice to the Minister of Justice) examined transcripts of cross-examinations of children and adolescents from 15 sexual abuse trials. . It turned out that the children were explicitly accused of lying and asked if they enjoyed the abuse. “It’s clear that child witnesses need much more support and protection than they do now,” said Dr. Kim McGregor, the chief victim’s adviser at the time.

Justice Minister Kiri Allen said Open Justice court reporter She was seeking advice on consent law.

  • Information and support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse issues is available from the following organizations: in the United States, rain Provide support at 800-656-4673. in England, rape crisis provides support on 0808 802 9999. In Australia, support is available at the following URLs: 1800 respect (1800 737 732).In New Zealand, support is available on Safe to Talk – 0800 044 334 or free text 4334. Other international helplines can be found at: ibiblio.org/rcip/internl.html

New Zealand law calls for change after rapist claimed to have ‘consensual’ sex with 12-year-old | New Zealand

Source link New Zealand law calls for change after rapist claimed to have ‘consensual’ sex with 12-year-old | New Zealand

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