* A popular entertainer drunkenly exposed himself and forced a 16-year-old girl's face into his genitals.
* He admitted the crime, but in court yesterday, Judge Eddie Paul let him off without conviction and permanently suppressed his name.
* The reason? Publicity would have a detrimental effect on his career and his record and ticket sales.
The 16-year-old victim of an indecent act by a drunk high-profile musician says his behaviour was "disgusting and wrong" and she will never buy his records or concert tickets.
The man, in his 30s, escaped a conviction and kept his identity secret when he was sentenced by Judge Eddie Paul in the Auckland District Court yesterday.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the media - including the Weekend Herald, TVNZ and TV3 - opposed permanent name suppression.
The musician had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of committing an indecent act likely to offend, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
Judge Paul ruled that the consequences of a conviction and publicly naming the man would be out of proportion to the gravity of the offence, which he considered "medium to low-level".
Details of the crime were read out in court by Judge Paul, who said the incident happened in the early hours of a Thursday morning in March in downtown Wellington.
At 3.30am, the musician was on his way to his hotel when he was recognised by a group of young women.
Two of the women asked to kiss him on the cheek, which he allowed, before he told them to "kiss my balls".
Hand-in-hand with the two women, the man led the pair up an alleyway, then pulled out his penis.
Again, the man told the women to "kiss my balls".
The women did not say anything and one of their friends walked into the alleyway.
The court heard that the man grabbed her head and forced it down to his crotch. The victim felt the man's penis on her cheek and moved her head to stop it entering her mouth. The 16-year-old pulled away and the man let her go.
As she ran from the alley, she could hear him laughing.
Judge Paul said naming and shaming the star would have a "significantly adverse effect" on his international career and a detrimental effect on his record and ticket sales.
A conviction would affect his ability to travel overseas for performances.
Last night, Louise Nicholas, who testified about sexual abuse allegedly committed by three policemen, said it was wrong that the entertainer had the protection of name suppression.
A suppression order had protected the identities of the policemen for some time before their names were revealed.
"I'm just disappointed that the system allows for it," she said.
"Once again, it's who you are."
However, Ms Nicholas commended the man for pleading guilty. "Thank you - it saved those women having to go through hell.
"But at the end of the day he still committed a crime and, just because of who he is, I don't think his name should be permanently suppressed.
"It's a sad society we live in," she said. "It's a really sad justice system."
Rape Prevention Education director Dr Kim McGregor said allowing the man to remain unpunished was shocking, and the nature of his crime meant there was a risk of his reoffending.
She said "this sort of behaviour" could often develop into an entrenched pattern of behaviour unless the person completed a sexual offender treatment course.
"The fact that this man hasn't had his name released means that it's not going to be safe because it's only when a person is known and named that people in the community can watch and observe that person that the rest of the community is safe."
The victim impact statement was not read out in court, but the Weekend Herald obtained a copy from the court.
The 16-year-old girl wrote that she had gone through a turbulent period in her life and she felt she had "turned the corner" until the drunken incident.
"It made me feel crap about myself and my life again," she wrote. "It makes me angry that the defendant would treat women like that, especially a young woman such as myself. What he did to me was disgusting and wrong.
"I would have expected something a lot better from a person of his stature. He should know better. I certainly won't be buying any of his records or going to his concerts."
The performer and his lawyer, Ron Mansfield, declined to comment as they left the court building.
But in a letter of apology to the victim on the court file, the man said he was "deeply sorry" for his behaviour. He had been so drunk he could not remember what happened.
"Regrettably I do not have any recollection of what took place. Ordinarily, I treat women with respect and courtesy. It is shocking and appalling behaviour. I am extremely shocked and embarrassed by what happened."
He offered to pay the victim $5000 for emotional harm, and was ordered to pay $130 court costs.
Judge Paul ruled there was no premeditation in the "spontaneous act".
While it was not simply a "schoolboy prank gone wrong", he said, the incident was not the most serious of offences and the entertainer was unlikely to reoffend.
- additional reporting: Beck Vass