The young woman who acted as "a self-confessed pimp", luring under-aged girls into a wealthy Auckland businessman's web of sex and drugs has dodged a jail term.
The defendant, who was 17 at the time, was found guilty at trial last year of inducing young girls to have sex with former millionaire property magnate Mark Lyon.
Despite the Crown's opposition, Judge Russell Collins granted her permanent name suppression at Auckland District Court today, after sentencing her to 10 months home detention - to be spent at a West Auckland rehabilitation facility.
The 20-year-old was also ordered to undertake 250 hours of community work.
Last month, Lyon was unmasked as the 59-year-old businessman jailed for 15 years on drug and sex offences last year, including crimes against girls as young as 14.
He was found guilty at trial of using methamphetamine to exploit sex acts from girls, and carrying out a prolonged sexual ordeal assault against a woman shackled in his homemade "dungeon".
The woman's agony through the sexual assault was such she begged Lyon to rape her so it would be over.
Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch said his female co-defendant played a significant role in the offending, which involved a serious breach of trust against some of the victims who considered themselves her friends.
"She was instrumental and played a critical role in feeding Mark Lyon's appetite for under-aged girls," she said.
Ms Murdoch said text messages submitted as evidence at trial showed the defendant painted herself as "a self-confessed pimp".
"In one particular day she sent 30 texts in order to pressure [one victim] and insisted she met up with Mark Lyon for the purpose of providing him with commercial sexual services," Ms Murdoch said.
But the woman's lawyer Lorraine Smith described her client as "as much a victim as the other girls involved".
"She felt too scared to walk away and was heavily addicted to methamphetamine ... [the defendant] had every reason to be afraid of that evil man."
Since being found guilty, the 20-year-old had been at a residential rehabilitation facility and Mrs Smith said she now saw "the light at the end of the tunnel".
Judge Collins described it as a "difficult and complex case".
He said the defendant was extremely intelligent but could also be highly manipulative.
"I sense at times even those nearest to you will get burned by you because of your self-centred approach," he said.
However, he agreed with Mrs Smith that the woman was a victim as well as an offender.
"It could easily have been that you took your place in that courtroom in the witness box, not in the dock," the judge said.
He emphasised a breach of her sentence would see her before the court for re-sentencing where a jail term would likely be imposed.
Meanwhile, the court also heard Lyon had challenged his sentence and the case would go before the Court of Appeal.