Ronald Bruce Vautier
NZ Herald story 19th June 2009
A doctor who admitted three historic charges of sexually attacking three young girls was today sentenced to two years in prison. Ronald Bruce Vautier, 59, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland for offences that involved victims aged five to eight and dated to between 1979 to 1988. Vautier had previously pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault. The offences occurred at a Coromandel Peninsula community, the name of which has been suppressed to protect the victims and where Vautier stayed when not in Auckland.
They happened while the girls were playing in his house and involved the rubbing of his penis against their genitalia. Two of the victims were among about 20 people in the public gallery this morning. They declined to comment after sentence was passed. Also present were members of Vautier's family. Justice Judith Potter said an aggravating feature of the offending was the "extremely negative impact" it had had on the victims. One woman, in her victim impact report, said she felt Vautier had taken away her childhood and left her hating herself.
Another said she suffered flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks. "The sly coercion with which he did what he did makes my skin crawl," she said. The third woman said she felt "dirty and ashamed" and wanted to have Vautier's Coromandel house demolished so she wouldn't have to see it again. Justice Potter said other aggravating features were the abuse of trust that the parents have placed in Vautier and the high vulnerability of the children, given their age.
She also took into account what she considered to be premeditation and also the number of years the offending spanned, although she accepted there was no evidence of on-going incidents in respect of any one victim. She said mitigating factors included the fact that the women were spared from giving evidence at a trial after Vautier pleaded guilty in February. She also noted submissions that Vautier had made a positive contribution to society over the past 20 years. Justice Potter turned down a application from defence counsel Peter Winter for Vautier's sentence to be served as home detention.
Mr Winter said the defence accepted the offending was serious, but argued that it was not in the most serious category. He described where it occurred as a "hippie-style community" where young children frequently roamed around, often not wearing underclothing. He said the offences were historic and Vautier, as a doctor working in south Auckland, had been a valuable member of society. Vautier stopped practising as a doctor in February last year after charges were laid against him.
NZ Herald story 25th September 2009
A doctor jailed for sexually abusing three young girls has lost an appeal against his sentence. Ronald Bruce Vautier, 59, was sentenced to two years jail in June after pleading guilty to offences involving victims aged five to eight and dated to between 1979 to 1988. Vautier had abused the girls while they were playing at his house in the Coromandel Peninsula, by rubbing his penis against their genitalia. He appealed against being denied home detention.
His lawyer said Vautier was a suitable candidate for home detention and imprisonment was "far more onerous" for him than other prisoners because of his occupation and the nature of his offending. His "meek" personality made it difficult for him to stand up for himself. However, the Appeal Court ruled in a judgement released today Vautier's offending was serious and the sentence was not "disproportionately severe". "As a known child sex offender the appellant may require segregation in prison, but that in itself cannot justify home detention."
Date of Birth
1950 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to just two years in June 2009
Appealed this sentence without success
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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