16 years' jail for 'heinous' predator

Photo / File
Photo / File

A sexual predator who hired prostitutes for a young male friend then watched the pair have sex through a one-way mirror has been jailed for 16 years.

Robert Frank Stevens, 65, preyed on the vulnerable youngster for his own sexual gratification, groomed him with alcohol and free clothes, and raped him repeatedly over more than a decade.

Sentencing judge Mary Beth Sharp described Stevens' crimes as "heinous". She labelled his prolonged and premeditated sexual offending against the male victim among the worst she had seen in 17 years on the bench.

Stevens, of Mt Albert, was found guilty last year on 10 counts of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection - several of them representative. He was sentenced yesterday in Auckland District Court to 16 years behind bars - with the judge warning he "may never see the light of day again".

But he maintains his innocence and intends to appeal against the sentence, insisting the depraved violations were consensual sex with a willing adult man.

The court was told that Stevens - director of Casino Limousines Ltd - began offending against the victim in 1994 when the youngster was just 13. The rapes and voyeuristic sex sessions would continue for 12 years, as Stevens groomed the youngster, plied him with alcohol and gifts, and isolated the fatherless teenager from his mother.

The court was told the victim was first raped when he was 13 or 14.

In an emotional victim impact statement read out to the court on his behalf, the victim said he had trusted "Bob" and looked up to him.

"I was too young to understand the consequences. I felt I had my adolescence stripped away from me."

The victim later lived on the street and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and frequent nightmares. He eventually tried to commit suicide.

The victim's mother labelled Stevens a pig and "nasty little man". "My mother told me to 'always watch your daughters', but not your sons. Why didn't someone warn me? When I think about Bob I feel sick to the pit of my stomach."

- APNZ

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