A Waikato support worker who raped an intellectually disabled man, targeted him due to his mental impairment, a judge found.
Gerald Christian Albert is now behind bars serving an 11-year jail term after a jury found the 53-year-old guilty of eight charges including one representative charge of having intercourse with the victim after a trial last year.
Albert was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court in November, but his victim was still feeling the effects of what happened to him between 2005 and 2007, his mother told the Herald.
However, she said both she and her son were pleased with the sentence handed down by Justice Glen Marshall and hoped they could now begin to move on with their lives.
Court documents show the offending began in 2005.
Albert was in a position of authority over the victim who was forced to comply with his sexual needs, the judge said.
The victim was found to have a "moderate intellectual disability" which was why Albert was also charged, and found guilty of, sexual exploitation of a person with significant impairment.
Judge Marshall said there was a vulnerability of the victim due to his low functionality and "significant impairment".
"You were aware of that and you knew that he would do what he was told. You recognised that you were in a position of authority over him."
The judge said although he categorised Albert's offending as opportunistic, he knew situations would arise when he and the victim would be alone and he could carry out the sexual assaults.
Albert maintained his innocence even after being found guilty, reiterating to the probation service, in preparation of his pre-sentence report, that the victim was simply annoyed and jealous because he bought gifts for another person.
"The victim, in my assessment, would have had little or no capacity to have come up with such reasons or maintain such allegations against you unless they were soundly founded in fact and what he had through inexperience."
Justice Marshall told Albert he had taken away from a "pleasant, engaging, trusting young man a lot of good in his life and it will take him a long time to recover from that".
"He should have been able to trust you and rely on you Mr Albert, but instead you abused him."
Albert was assessed as being at a high risk of reoffending while the judge said he couldn't give him any credit for remorse as he hadn't shown any.
However, he did suffer from several health issues including type 2 diabetes, he was currently on the waiting list for a new kidney and was unable to walk.
Justice Marshall sentenced Albert to 11 years' jail on a charge of unlawful sexual connection, two charges of indecent assault on a boy over 16, a representative charge of unlawful sexual connection by way of anal penetration, two charges of unlawful sexual connection by performing oral sex on the victim and sexual exploitation of a person with a significant impairment.
The victim's mother said her son had the mental capacity of a nine-year-old and was partially deaf.
She said Albert "used to be like a buddy" for her son, and now he was too scared to go anywhere on his own in fear of running into his family.
"What he did to [my son] just broke my heart," she said choking back tears. "He's scared. He has nightmares. He's having counselling but he's scared that Gerald or his family might hurt him."
Both she and her son were both "really happy" with the jail term, she said.