Parents 'relieved' as rapist jailed

By Jamie Morton, Herald Online staff

Raurangi Mark Marino, 16, was sentenced at Rotorua District court this morning to 10 years in prison for the rape of a 5-year-old tourist in Turangi in December 2011. Photo / Christine Cornege.
Raurangi Mark Marino, 16, was sentenced at Rotorua District court this morning to 10 years in prison for the rape of a 5-year-old tourist in Turangi in December 2011. Photo / Christine Cornege.

The parents of a five-year-old girl who was raped and assaulted in a Turangi campground are relieved at the jail sentence handed down to their daughter's teenage attacker.

Sixteen-year-old Turangi youth Raurangi Marino was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Rotorua District Court this morning after earlier pleading to charges of burglary, sexual violation by rape and causing grievous bodily harm.

The attack on the 5-year-old on December 21, which took place as she was sleeping alongside her little brother in a caravan at Club Habitat, drew an outpouring of national shame and support for the holidaying European family, who were overwhelmed with messages of support and more than $62,000 in donations.

A statement from the girl's parents thanked New Zealanders for the support given to the family.

"We are relieved a part of this nightmare is finished; even if it is still just a part...

"We would like to thank the court, the police and the people of New Zealand. It has been a very emotional evening for us."

The court heard how Marino had come from a troubled, violent background and dysfunctional family and was drunk at the time of the attack and could recall little of it.

He had been bullied, abused, attempted suicide and began taking drugs and alcohol from an early age, the court heard.

The families of both of his parents had been involved in gangs.

But the defence ruled out that attack was gang-motivated, and said Marino had been drinking over eight to 10 hours at an unsupervised party.

Earlier this month, the girl's family, who watched today's sentencing via video link, said they bore no grudge against New Zealand, and announced they had donated 20,000 toward four organisations.

Along with $5000 to benefit a new playground in Turangi, the money will help buy paediatric surgical instruments and items for Waikato Hospital's Waikids Ward 26, support agency ECPAT Child Alert NZ Ltd and Victim Support Hamilton.

- APNZ

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