A Rotorua motelier who indecently assaulted a guest has been sentenced to community work after a judge rejected the police's plea for imprisonment.
Hyeon (Paul) Soo Song, 53, was sentenced by Judge James Weir in the Rotorua District Court today to 250 hours' community work, nine months' supervision and ordered to pay $1000 reparation to his victim. He pleaded guilty in October to indecently assaulting a female guest in her 20s at the Studio Motel on August 4.
According to police, the victim checked into the Fenton St motel, where Song was the manager, on August 3.
Song led her to her room by the hand then inside began massaging her shoulders. As she checked out the next morning, Song grabbed her hands and again started massaging her shoulders. She broke away however he gestured for her to follow him back to her room. Thinking he needed to check the room before she left, she followed.
Inside he massaged her shoulders for a few seconds before she broke away. He stood in front of her and said "you're very soft" gesturing around her breasts. He asked to touch them and when she refused Song put his hand down the front of her top and touched her breast with his hands and mouth.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Roger Schreuder said police believed Song should be sent to prison because of the effect offending of this type had on Rotorua's tourist industry.
He said a community-based sentence would see Song go straight back into the same environment where the assault happened.
Mr Schreuder said a report revealed Song had been having marital issues and was "in awe of the victim's size".
"These same things will be there today, tomorrow, the next day, the same trigger points," Mr Schreuder said.
However Judge Weir said Song had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty early and was remorseful.
He said Song and his wife had suffered significantly financial loss and had received numerous abusive phone calls after his last court appearance.
Judge Weir said the main issue was the breach of trust.
"You chose to indecently assault this young woman," he said. "To her a motel is a safe place but because of you the motel was not a safe place."
In her victim impact statement, the woman said Song shouldn't be a motelier, the judge said.
"At the end of the day that's a matter for you and whether or not you can financially survive this episode," he told Song.