An Auckland pastor and a Kawakawa businessman have both been sentenced to home detention for paying for sex with an underaged Northland girl.
Michael Cornelis Weitenberg, from Mairangi Bay, and the 55-year-old founder of the Futurecaster Church in Albany was sentenced to six months home detention when he appeared in the Kaikohe District Court today for sentencing.
He also made a reparation payment of $5,000 to the 15-year-old girl involved after he earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of receiving commercial sexual services from a 15-year-old, an offence under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003.
Kawakawa businessman Owen Sigley, 66, was sentenced to nine months home detention in the court today after he earlier admitted one charge of receiving commercial sexual services from a 15-year-old, an offence under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003.
Both were arrested in relation to a man busted by police after a complaint in the Bay of Islands in February.
An angry protest group was outside the court for the sentencing today calling for justice for children. The group was outraged after an earlier person involved was given home detention and were back at the court today to make their feelings known.
The Facebook page of the Futurecaster Church in Albany, which has been taken down, described Weitenberg as a church founder, senior elder and prophet. The small Pentecostal church's website has also been deleted.
A 55-year-old Kaitaia man has already been sentenced to 12 months' home detention for his part in the ring.
Marcus Barker was sentenced last month in the Kaikohe District Court charged with one count of sexual connection with a person aged 12-16, and two of contracting for sex with a person under 18.
He was one of five men arrested in February when police busted a 35-year-old Paihia resident for allegedly advertising sexual services of a girl, who had turned 15 a few months earlier. That man, whose name is suppressed, has pleaded not guilty.
The court heard Barker had responded to a post on a classified advertising website about a young couple looking for sex with older gents in the Bay Islands.
Barker had sex with the victim in a van, and paid $150. He arranged a second meeting, but that didn't happen.
When he asked how old the girl was, he was told she was "just under" the legal age..