Mob member on trial for rape

A trial has begun in the Napier District Court where it is alleged a Mongrel Mob member raped a woman and a second man with gang connections was a party to it.

In the crown's opening address, prosecutor Steve Manning told the jury the drunk young woman, aged 21, had been taken advantage of by a group of men in November 2010.

The two accused are Adam Joseph Karetu and Gene Skipper. They face charges including rape, unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault - to which they have pleaded not guilty.

The crown alleges Karetu was a party to the sexual assault, while Skipper took part in it.

Mr Manning said the victim had parked her car and was sitting in it drinking by herself on a Friday evening when Karetu starting talking to her and befriended her. He drank with her, before suggesting he knew somewhere they could get some cannabis.

With Karetu driving, Mr Manning said they picked up three gang members whom Karetu was looking to "earn some points" with, one of which was Skipper.

"She did not know these men, she had no connection to that gang or any other gang," he said.

In the car the "penny dropped" and she asked where they were going but received no reply. They took her to a riverside location where the group of men, excluding Karetu, sexually assaulted her. DNA found on the victim's bra matched that of Skipper's, he said.

Mr Manning said Karetu didn't participate, but sat in the driver's seat and is accused of being party to the incident.

"He himself did not become involved in the sexual assault," Mr Manning said. "He located the other three men and he rounded them up for the purpose of having sexual contact with this drunk, vulnerable woman."

The other offenders were dropped off before she was taken back to a house where she later passed out.

The trial before Judge Tony Adeane is to continue today.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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