Evil and a Court system that can’t take an eye for an eye

CAUTION:  This item is disgusting

A 29-year-old Auckland man has been jailed for six years after plying a 14-year-old girl with alcohol before sexually assaulting her in an attack he planned with the girl’s mother.

The judge, sentencing him today, said he exploited the trust between mother and daughter.

The girl was unconscious when the October 30, 2015 assault began, but when she awoke during it and became hysterical her mother – who was sitting next to her on the bed – told her it was a bad dream.

Luke Aaron Smith’s actions left the girl’s family “torn apart”, Judge Mary-Beth Sharp said before sentencing him at the Auckland District Court today to six years and six months’ imprisonment.

He had met the woman involved – who can’t be identified to protect the victim’s identity – on the NZDating.com website during or before September 2015 and the pair started communicating via text messages on Skype.

During the next month or so their messages became sexualised, with Smith later asking the woman for photos of her 14-year-old daughter and the girl’s underwear.

On October 26 the pair talked about both of them sexually assaulting the girl, exchanging a series of Skype messages too graphic for the Herald to publish.

They decided Smith would bring a large amount of alcohol to the home the girl lived at with her mother and they would get her so drunk she wouldn’t remember what they’d done to her.

Four days later they executed their plan.

That evening after Smith arrived they convinced the girl to drink a lot of alcohol.

She later became sick and her mother told her to strip down to her underwear and get into the mother’s bed.

The girl fell asleep, later waking and vomiting before becoming unconscious again.

The second time she went to sleep Smith started to assault her as her mother watched.

The Herald has chosen not to publish the details of the incident out of respect for the girl’s dignity and because they are too disturbing.

The victim woke up almost immediately after Smith started assaulting her. She was scared but her mother told her she was having a bad dream.

She asked her mum to “make that man go away”. The woman said she “wasn’t deep enough” and let Smith out of the house before consoling her daughter, telling her she didn’t know Smith was going to do that.

The next day Smith messaged the mother on Skype saying what had happened the night before was “not a very successful mission”.

The pair hatched another plan to assault the girl again, discussing how they’d use drugs so she stayed unconscious.

“She will be out cold next time,” the mother said.

But the second assault never went ahead. The mother cut off contact with Smith, meaning he was unable to contact the girl.

He later pleaded guilty to sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, sexual conduct with a young person aged under 16 and conspiracy to commit sexual violation of the girl as well as a sexual misconduct charge relating to offending against another victim.

It is one thing to be sexually violated at 15.  It’s another thing altogether to discover your mother basically approved your sexual slavery.

That’s a life full of counselling, screwed up relationships and pain ahead.   It might have been kinder had she died of alcohol poisoning.

The judge said the girl, who attended the sentencing with her caregivers, was “exceedingly brave”, as was Smith’s mother who was also there.

“I know that you are both going through your own version of private hell.”

Smith’s lawyer, Emma Priest, said he was extraordinarily remorseful for his actions.

“He understands that he does need help. He acknowledges responsibility.”

The 29-year-old had no previous convictions, had been deputy head boy at school and had a university degree.

“This [offending] is completely unexpected.”

Sharp said although she accepted Smith was genuinely remorseful, it was “truly shocking and alarming” that someone who had done well at such a young age could do something so horrific.

Smith’s good upbringing made the offending even more incomprehensible, she said.

However, she took into account Smith’s guilty pleas and previous good character while sentencing him.

As well as sending him to prison Sharp ordered Smith to pay his victim $2500 in emotional harm reparation, but said the money would never fix what he’d done.

“It is a drop in the ocean compared to the harm he has caused.”

She wished Smith well in his rehabilitation and told the girl she hoped she could move forward with her life.

“I’m sorry that there are no winners in a terrible situation like this.”

$2500 in emotional harm reparation?   I wonder what range was truly available to the courts.  Personally I would have implemented a sentence where Smith ends up paying 20% of his gross income until retirement kicks in.   He gets to walk away from this, she never will.


– NZ Herald

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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.