Te Mana Rakatau
Christchurch Press story 4th February 2010
A 17-year-old Black Power gangster with an attitude towards women described in court as "terrifying", has been jailed for five years for the rape of a 10-year-old girl. Te Mana Rakatau was aged 15 when the offence occurred while he was on holiday in the Waikato in 2008. His father is a former Black Power gang president who has now left the gang and has been trying to steer his son away from the gang as well. Defence counsel Tony Greig told Christchurch District Court the boy had now become a fully patched member of the gang as a means of protecting him in prison, where he could be targeted because of his family connections.
Rakatau was young enough for the Youth Court jurisdiction but the case went to a jury trial where he was convicted in October and he was sentenced in the adult court today. He had denied raping the girl in a toilet block at a marae, and still denied it when pre-sentence reports were prepared by probation and a health assessor. He said the girl was put up to the accusation by her mother as part of a grievance or conspiracy against Rakatau's family, but Judge David Saunders said at sentencing today he rejected that idea. "The injuries she received could not have been something that was part of any conspiracy," he said.
Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said Rakatau was much stronger and bigger than the girl and there had been some premeditation in choosing the location. "His attitude towards women displayed in the report is frankly quite terrifying," she said. "And his attitude towards the victim leaves a lot to be desired." His views about women and sex meant the judge should take into account the risk that Rakatau posed to the community, she said. There was no remorse, no acknowledgement of the offending, and only contempt for the victim. Mr Greig asked that Rakatau not be sent to jail to do a sex offenders' programme because it was unlikely to succeed and would lead to a longer sentence. "His rehabilitation will start with his family."
Judge Saunders said on the day of the rape Rakatau had been at a function at a Waikato marae. The girl's father noticed the awkward way the girl was walking when she left the block but she did not make a complaint until she returned to Christchurch and was seen by a doctor and a specialist interviewer. The judge said the health assessor's report gave some insight into Rakatau's development and how his attitudes had been shaped by his upbringing. He was seen as having a severe conduct disorder which could become an anti-social personality disorder in adulthood.
His anti-social behaviour emerged when he was abusing alcohol and cannabis. "The psychologist says you are a young man who is destined to be a violent and anti-social person unless you take stock of the situation and try to engage in some programmes and therapy. "You have to learn that you can't get your way through violent and anti-social behaviour." Judge Saunders said there were some disturbing aspects about the way Rakatau thought about women and sexual intercourse. "These are matters you need to think about and reflect on as you serve this sentence."
Date of Birth
Sexual violation by rape of a ten year old Waikato girl in 2008
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to just 5 years in February 2010
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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