Rodney Hide: Forget Rolf, Maggie. We have our own sexual predator to name and shame

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Maggie Barry came forward after Rolf Harris was convicted.
Maggie Barry came forward after Rolf Harris was convicted.

The Rolf Harris convictions have left people puzzled: how did he get away with it for so long?

It would seem his victims were only emboldened once he was named and convicted. It's then they realised they weren't alone. It's then - and only then - they knew they were safe from being blamed. It was after his conviction that MP Maggie Barry spoke up.

That's how the true scale of his offending is only now becoming apparent.

It would be nice to think such offending could never again be hidden, but that would be a mistake.

It's happening now.

Here's a case from the Queenstown newspaper, the Mountain Scene.

On the morning of November 11, 2011, a "prominent" New Zealander visited a woman he knew to discuss a business venture with her and her husband.

She invited him in for a cuppa to await her husband's return.

The "prominent" New Zealander took the opportunity to grab her, push his tongue down her mouth, paw her, push his hand down her pants, and jam her hand on his "whatsit".

He only stopped his attack when her teenage daughter returned.

Following his attack the man was completely blase . He carried on like nothing had happened.

His victim is left scared to be in her own home and is no longer the bubbly person she once was.

In August 2012, the man pleaded guilty to a charge of performing an indecent act intended to insult or offend a woman.

He was convicted and ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm reparation and $1500 in counselling costs. But earlier this year Judge David Saunders discharged him without conviction and gave him name suppression. In doing so the judge accepted the attacker had "carried a bit of a cross" in the time since his attack first came before the court.

A "bit of a cross"? And the victim? What does the judge think she's had to carry? The man should be carrying a cross: he's the offender.

I know something of this case. I certainly know the attacker. And I know some of our leading politicians know him and know, too, of his attitude and behaviour towards women. It was a topic of conversation when I was in Parliament. There are possibly other victims. I know one but she will never come forward.

Forget Rolf Harris, Maggie. He's behind bars. Do the right thing and name this self-confessed offender in Parliament. Do what Parliamentary privilege allows: make right what our justice system got wrong.

Name the sexual predator under privilege and enable other possible victims to come forward. Some of your colleagues know who he is. Ask them. Or me.

You, Maggie, can do what no other New Zealander can do: you can name him.

His victim is clear: "He is a dirty b****** and people should know ... For me, it's not over - I want his name out there." And of him? "There is no remorse there; absolutely no remorse whatsoever." Sound familiar?

Debate on this article is now closed.

- Herald on Sunday

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