Steven Leonard Panapa
NZ Herald story here
From the Evening Post 21st December 1999
WELLINGTON - A three-times-convicted rapist has failed to overturn the latest rape conviction against him. Steven Leonard Panapa, 40, prepared his own submissions to the Court of Appeal after he was refused legal aid to appeal his conviction and the indefinite jail term imposed. Supporting the sentence, the Court of Appeal said last Thursday that Panapa's long history of offending included two horrific rapes in 1984. The latest conviction this year related to the early morning abduction and rape of a woman walking to work in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland, in 1991.
At the time she helped police prepare a computer sketch of her attacker, whom she had seen briefly. In 1997 a police officer reviewing unsolved rape cases saw a resemblance between the sketch and a photograph of Panapa. Panapa's DNA was linked to samples taken from the woman's underpants. One of the grounds for the appeal was that the DNA testing process was flawed and samples had seemingly been lost in the laboratory. The Court of Appeal said it was concerned samples were misplaced, but the issue had been before the jury that convicted Panapa and did not in itself make his conviction unsafe.
At his trial Panapa said the woman had been to a barbecue at his house and they hadhad consensual intercourse. The woman denied meeting Panapa before he abducted her. The Court of Appeal said the jury was entitled to believe the woman. Three lawyers represented Panapa on the rape charge but one withdrew during his trial, forcing an adjournment. Panapa said a newspaper headline that said "Accused dumps lawyer" could have prejudiced the jury, and the judge should have cautioned the jury. The Court of Appeal said that was not necessary.
"Tip" Tipene Panapa
Date of Birth
Three rape convictions for attacks in 1984 and 1991
The 1991 attack involved abduction of a woman off the street in Blockhouse Bay, Auckland in October 1991, followed by repeated rape
86 convictions in 22 years including 14 for violent offending
Sentenced to preventive detention in April 1999
Parole eligibility since February 2008
Has another hearing February 2010
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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