From NZ Herald story 17th June 2006
Charles Mariri, praised by his church for being "a devoted and humble person", is today beginning a lengthy prison term after "evil spirits" told him to rape, indecently assault, beat and threaten to kill four young girls. The 47-year-old Aucklander (also known as Ngatapuna Kauri) looked bewildered as he entered the dock at the Auckland District Court for sentencing on 29 counts, five of them rape charges, yesterday. He was sentenced to 14 and-a-half years' and will serve a minimum nine years' for the offending, which happened over three years from 2001.
Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan, in sentencing submissions to Judge Josephine Bouchier, told the court Mariri had treated the four girls - aged 8 to 14 - "like his own personal harem", subjecting them to all his "whims, desires and perversions". All four were raped. On one occasion, he sexually violated two of the girls as each of them tried to fight him off. "He knew we were kids and that it wasn't right, but he still did it," one of his "significantly traumatised" victims told the author of a victim-impact statement read to the court. "I would tell him no, but he wouldn't listen." The effect of his offending would be "life lasting" for the girls, Mr McColgan said.
Mariri, dressed in a purple Island-style shirt and clutching a Bible, sat impassively throughout the sentencing. The defendant had tried to "minimise" his offending, by claiming evil spirits had made him do it, Mr McColgan said, on his way to recommending a minimum sentence of 17 to 19 years. "And that is, perhaps, too light." Mariri's lawyer, David Reece, said his client deserved credit for his early guilty pleas - which saved his victims giving evidence at trial - and for his previously good character. That Mariri had agreed to take sexual offending programmes while in prison was evidence of "some glimmer or remorse", Mr Reece said.
But he accepted the offending was "at the top of the offending this country has ever known", and suggested a jail term of up to 15 years. Judge Bouchier then set a starting point of 18 and-a-half years on a lead charge of rape, which was discounted to 14 and-a-half years because of mitigating factors. Concurrent terms totalling more than 25 years were handed down for the other charges. Mariri's lawyer later described the sentence as "within the appropriate range". "It was the most serious [case] I have been involved in in my career".
Date of Birth
Rape (x6), violation by unlawful sexual connection (x6), indecent assault (x10), child assault (x3), common assault (x2) and threatening to kill (x2), all committed against four young Auckland girls from 2001 to 2004
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 14 years 6 months with a 9 year non-parole period in June 2006
Parole eligibility date February 2015
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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