One of the Labour Party summer camp assault victims has spoken of the anger he feels after the man at the centre of multiple allegations was discharged without conviction.
"There was anger, and aspects of fear," he told Newstalk ZB.
"If I've gone through this without justice, what about everyone else that goes through the system?"
The 21-year-old accused, whose name is suppressed, went to trial this year charged with five counts of indecent assault, which related to four people — two men and two women.
But he was discharged without conviction today after reaching a plea deal with the case's prosecutors mid-trial.
He pleaded guilty to two amended charges of assault under the Summary Offences Act following events which occurred at the young Labour event near Waihi in February 2018.
The assault charges were in relation to the two men, while the charges against the two women were dismissed.
The victim said life since the incident had been tough, as the case was turned into a political football.
"I never thought that what occurred on that night would put me in the position I am now," he said. "I still can't get my head around how it happened."
He said he had wanted the accused to be convicted and some recognition of the pain caused to the victims and their families.
"I would have liked for him to actually have been given a consequence that reflects his behaviour.
"This process has lasted about two years ... It's been long, it's been excruciating and we get to the point today that there is a discharge without conviction."
Dressed in a blue suit and white shirt, the accused was sentenced today in the Auckland District Court by Judge Russell Collins.
He went to trial in August accused of having grabbed and squeezed a man's testicles, touched another man's genitals twice, kissed a woman on her neck and face, and groped a second woman's breast and bottom.
Judge Collins said the gravity of the offending was low, which may shock people because of the nature of the allegations.
"I'm not convinced it was for a sexual gratification or any perverted motive," he said.
Rather, the judge continued, the offending — while not an excuse — was "born out of drunken stupidity".
"It may well have been indecent but that is no longer part of the charge."
Speaking to one of the victims sitting in court, Judge Collins said he hoped — like all judges — for the power to "put victims back to the position in their lives prior to the offending".
"I accepted everything you had to say, I had no difficulty as the judge in believing you," he said of both victims, whom he said were impressive young men.
The judge also said that everything he'd read about the offender, but for the night at the summer camp, showed he too was an impressive young man.
"I have obvious sympathy for him in the position he found himself on account of his own drunken stupidity."
But, Judge Collins and the man's lawyer Emma Priest debated whether he should be named publicly.
Priest said there had been "extreme media" coverage of the case and the "highly political nature of the prosecution will be linked to other political news for political reasons".
Further sexual assault allegations in the Labour Party this year have already been linked back to the young man, Priest said.
If named, Priest continued, her client faced a "lifetime of Google searches".
After being arrested in June 2018, the young man was initially charged with six counts of indecent assault, however, some of the allegations against him were also dropped in September last year.
Maria Austen, a Wellington lawyer, conducted an external review of Labour Party procedures after the allegations were made.
Austen's report included several recommendations, however, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the report will not be publicly released while the court proceedings were ongoing.
Ardern spoke to those at the camp the day before the allegations.
Former Labour Party president Nigel Haworth, who quit in September as further sexual assault allegations came to light within the party, earlier said all the recommendations of the Austen report would be implemented.