Muslim Refugee Gropes Women, Blames Cultural Differences, Avoids Jail

The groper's name will be kept secret to protect his status in the Muslim community.

Women in Port Hill, New Zealand can feel confident because their legal system values the Port Hill Groper's standing in the Muslim community more than their safety.

The family of the man accused of being "The Port Hills Groper'' fears he'll be ostracised by their Muslim community if his identity is revealed, a court was told today.

Name suppression was continued for the 63-year-old today after a judge decided he may have psychological issues if he was found guilty of grabbing, groping, and licking 15 women on the running trails.

I'm sure any psychological issues that he has can be cured with some saltpeter. And what was the Muslim refugee's excuse for the attacks?

He blamed his offending on a misunderstanding of cultural differences.

Good old cultural differences. And who are we to judge his groping culture?

The accused, who cannot speak English and uses an interpreter at court, put the offending down to a "cultural" misunderstanding, saying he was trying to be "friendly" around Christmas time.

Police documents show he lay in wait on several tracks across the Port Hills, preying on woman walking and jogging by.

On one occasion he called out to a woman jogging on the Rapaki Track and, when she slowed down to listen, grabbed her buttocks and said "lovely lovely".

Muslim culture is just so... friendly.

The judge had adjourned his decision after becoming concerned that the man could go on with his alleged offending if his identity and his charges were not revealed.

Defence lawyer Moana Cole told the court that the man's family had taken a decision not to tell their small, local community which has strong ties with the Islamic community.

Judge MacAskill said no part of the community could be given special treatment because of its cultural or religious beliefs.

But insanity prevailed.

But after his family gave him assurances that would not be happening, and since police said the high amount of publicity meant no more complainers would likely come forward, he granted name suppression.

What if he begins groping women somewhere else? That's a relevant question considering that the Port Hills Groper isn't going to jail.

A Middle Eastern refugee who grabbed, groped and licked female joggers on a popular running route in Christchurch has today avoided jail and been granted permanent name suppression.

The man, dubbed the 'Port Hills Groper', pleaded guilty last November to eight charges of indecent assault.

When the 64-year-old appeared before Christchurch District Court for sentencing today one of his targets read out her victim impact statement.

She said she was "frightened, humiliated and eventually angry" after the assault.

Like the police, the woman argued the offender should be "named and shamed" because he was a "predator and not a frail old man".

Defence counsel Moana Cole told the court she didn't think jail was appropriate because her client's crimes were at the low end of the scale, he was a first-time offender and not offended since.

If he did it multiple times over several years, it's not exactly an isolated incident.

And no case involving Muslim sexual abuse would be complete without "cultural ambiguities" about attacking women.

"Cultural ambiguities", highlighted in a psychologist's report before the courts, may have led to the man's bizarre actions, Judge Jane Farish believed.

She sentenced him to 300 hours of community work and 12 months' supervision.

It shouldn't be too surprising because Judge Jane Farish is probably the worst judge on earth.

A visibly upset judge today told a teenager convicted of sexual violation: "If I had my way I would release you today, but I can't."

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish spoke of the youth, naivety, and the good family background of Maia Crawford Rongonui who had attacked a young Australian woman tourist in a dark Christchurch street.

"If I had it within my power today I would release you to your family," the judge said.

Instead, she jailed the 19-year-old for four years after he was convicted by a jury of assaulting the woman with intent to commit rape, and sexually violating her by unlawful sexual connection.

Judge Farish had earlier told crown prosecutor Ruth Thomas that she believed Rongonui needed to "get back to his family and back to a job".

"Keeping a young man of 19 (in prison) for a lengthy period of time is really only going to ruin him, particularly when he has such good family support."

Judge Farish said she believed Rongonui had been hopeful of a sexual encounter, and something snapped when the woman rebuffed him.

He punched her and kicked her as well as trying to remove her pants. The woman fought back and was able to escape, but semen from Rongonui was found on her clothing.