Teen sentenced for sex assaults on sisters

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A Rotorua teenager who sexually violated his two sisters has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention.

The youth, who has permanent name suppression to protect the identity of the victims, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court yesterday before Judge Phillip Cooper. He will serve home detention at a different address from where his sisters live.

The teenager had previously pleaded guilty to three charges of unlawful sexual connection on a girl under 12 and two counts of an indecent act on a female under 12. The offending occurred between 2008 and 2010, when the girls were aged between 7 and 10. Their brother was between 14 and 16 when he committed the offences.

In sentencing, Judge Cooper said he had read reports from SAFE, a professional treatment programme for sexual offenders, and from probation.

"The probation report says you show little empathy and remorse which is in stark contrast to the SAFE programme which says you show considerable remorse but are still at high risk of re-offending. You have a history of drug and alcohol use and will remain a high risk unless you receive treatment.

"One-on-one counselling won't meet your rehabilitative needs and prison programmes are not suitable because of your age and you will be in an adult environment with more sophisticated and degenerate sex offenders." Judge Cooper said some of the offending was "on par with rape".

"You suffered physical abuse as a child and have drug issues and it is clear there was a very lax attitude and poor examples set as far as sexual behaviour is concerned.

"With your mixture of background factors, in some ways it is not surprising that you are standing here in court."

The judge imposed a sentence of 10 months' home detention and 300 hours' community work. The teenager is to be subject to judicial monitoring.

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