Face of the Day

Apparently being a principal and having sex with a boy aged 12 leading to a jail sentence is all her lawyer’s fault.

Stacey Reriti was found guilty of seven sex-abuse charges in 2015 but has today appealed against her convictions and sentence.

She was deputy principal at Natone Park School in Porirua when she began an intimate relationship with the boy.

She frequently exchanged text messages with him when he was aged between 10 and 13, and on one occasion took him to a motel in Paraparaumu where they had sex.

Today Reriti told the Court of Appeal in Wellington she was mentally unwell before the High Court trial, but her lawyer, Stephen Ions did not arrange an assessment by a forensic psychiatrist.

She also received a pre-trial sentencing indication, but said Mr Ions did not explain the ramifications or give her an opportunity to speak to others about her options.

“[I wanted] to speak to my mother or doctor, because I wasn’t in a frame of mind to make such a decision for myself, but that wasn’t possible. I asked him in court and then asked him again when we were having a meeting later.”

However she admitted under cross-examination from the Crown that she had limited recall of events leading up to the trial and there were possibly many interactions with Mr Ions which she did not remember.

Reriti also denied having sex with the boy when he was 12 and said she was still disgusted by the allegations.

Despite those denials she agreed she was now asking the Court of Appeal to give her the option of pleading guilty.

Anything to shave some years off the 10.5 she earned herself.   I see denial and not a lot of remorse.



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