One of the instigators behind the notorious Roast Busters group who boasted on social media about sexual exploits with underage girls has broken his silence.
Joseph Parker, son of actor Anthony Ray Parker, told Newshub he was speaking out for the first time ever in an attempt to "make amends".
"I hope that they can see there is a change in my heart and they can see that I am here trying to make amends and make it better," he said.
Parker and Beraiah Hales were alleged to have been the ringleaders of the group a group of predominantly West Auckland youths who bragged on the group's Facebook page about having sex with girls as young as 13.
Police investigated the group several times after a 13-year-old made a formal complaint about the youths in 2011.
At least four other girls came forward and made formal statements to police about the actions of the group.
No one was ever charged in relation to the allegations - despite the police investigation and an exhaustive review - due to a lack of evidence.
"The police have all the details on every single complaint and they decided not to press charges for a reason," Parker told Newshub.
Parker said he wasn't defending the actions of himself or the other members of the Roast Busters but said they weren't like everyone made them out to be.
"We did a lot of things wrong but at the same time we also weren't the monsters that everybody thought that we were, and we didn't do all the things that people thought we did," he said.
The 23-year-old acknowledged by doing the interview some of the people he hurt would be "exposed" to the history of the Roast Busters again.
However, he hoped those people could see he had changed since the incident.
"I hope that they can see there is a change in my heart and they can see that I am here trying to make amends and make it better."
Before the interview aired, Help Auckland's crisis services manager Sylvia Yandall said it could be incredibly harmful to victims.
"Not sure what the intent or the point is, they didn't have much to say at the time so why now?" she said.
"At the time the girls had to deal with it, it was extremely harmful for them and definitely in the beginning when no one was listening to them."
However, Yandall said if Parker apologised in the interview and was genuine it could be helpful for some victims.
"This is going to be incredibly tricky for them, when they've worked really hard to try and work through this whole thing and some may never," she said.
"What's the intent? If it is to say sorry then that could go a long way but different survivors feel differently, for some of them nothing is going to make it right.
"But if someone takes responsibility and is genuine and remorseful that never goes astray but if it's to say 'we're sorry but …' that's minimising it."
SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on: ll 0800 044 334 or text 4334
Help Auckland can be called 24/7 on 09 623 1700 and if you're asked to leave a message do so and an operator will be in touch soon.
Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.