A good judge calls time on sex offender’s name suppression

SEX OFFENDER: Stayz Raukawa

SEX OFFENDER: Stayz Raukawa

A good judge has ended the nonsense of name suppression for a sex offender.

A Picton dance teacher who admitted child sex offences has lost his appeal for name suppression.

Stayz Te Atamira Raukawa, 43, was sentenced last month to three years and six months in prison for four charges of unlawful sexual connection and eight counts of indecency with a 15-year-old girl.

His victim, now 25, said she was “over the moon” the man’s name suppression had been lifted. She wanted to waive her name suppression so his name could be made public.

Having Raukawa’s name suppression lifted by Justice Simon France at the High Court, in Blenheim, on Tuesday was a victory, she said.

“It shows that you can make a difference. From the get-go I made it very clear I wanted my name suppression to be lifted,” she said.

“Everybody deserves to have open, transparent justice.”

She said she hoped other victims, not related to this case, would be inspired to give their views on name suppression.   

“It’s a question that’s not even asked of the victim, it’s crazy.”

As far as she was concerned, Raukawa had brought any publicity upon himself.

“He’s kind of made his own bed, and he needs to be held accountable. Which for me is about naming him.”

She wanted people to know what he had done.

“My purpose from walking into the police department was ensuring it didn’t happen again.”

It takes brave people who were the victims of these sorts of criminals to bring sanity to the system. Thankfully, in this case, Justice Simon France has been able to take the victim’s wishes into consideration.

Raukawa was in his 30s at the time of the offending.

At his sentencing at the Blenheim District Court in October, the victim said in a victim impact statement that Raukawa “took my youth”.

She suffered flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, and paranoia, she said.

“I don’t know who I am anymore.”

Raukawa had not only failed her but also his community, she said. He had hundreds of opportunities to stop but he did not.

Justice France said on Tuesday when he denied Raukawa further name suppression that he was interested in the principle of open justice, which had “tremendous strength”.

Raukawa’s lawyer Rob Harrison said Raukawa posed a “slight to non-existent” risk to the public in the future.

Harrison said was not detracting from the nature or seriousness of the offending, but there was nothing to make it stand out.

Justice France said Raukawa was a sexual offender who had committed serious sexual offences over a period of time.

His written decision would be released on Wednesday, he said.

Those are the words of a good judge.

I am glad I made a stand on name suppression and got the law changed.

 

– Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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