A Southland Stags rugby player has been sentenced to 18 months' intensive supervision after admitting three charges of masturbating in a public place, twice in front of young girls.

Dillan Halaholo, 23, was convicted in the Invercargill District Court yesterday.

He was unlikely to play in any further Southland rugby games and it was understood his Stags contract had been torn up following his off-field behaviour, Fairfax reported.

A police summary of facts say the first offending was in a supermarket car park in Invercargill, when Halaholo began masturbating while in his car which was parked beside another vehicle containing 9- and 6-year-old girls.


He returned to the same carpark on June 3 and masturbated in his car beside another vehicle containing two ten-year-old girls.

A week later, on June 10, he returned again and masturbated next to a car with a 23-year-old woman inside.

All Halholo's victims said they had been deeply affected by his actions and the girls' parents said he had "taken away their innocence".

Halaholo's lawyer, Richard Smith, had applications for a discharge without conviction and final name suppression for Halaholo denied by Judge Christina Cook, given the seriousness of his offences, Fairfax reported.

Halaholo had received counselling immediately after being charged and was unlikely to reoffend, Smith said.

"He has come a long way ... in terms of dealing with these things because they are extremely embarrassing and confusing for him and he has had to deal with that."

Halaholo played 17 games for the Stags in 2014 and 2015 before being called into the Highlanders on a short-term basis as injury cover and travelled to South Africa with them following strong performances.