The daughter of a prominent Waikato businessman who was jailed for 10 years for raping and indecently assaulting an intellectually disabled teenager has pleaded for a reduced sentence, saying her father would not survive a lengthy prison term.
"We do not want to see dad die in jail. This whole ordeal has had a huge impact on our family. We ask for mercy for the family's sake."
The woman cannot be named because her father, who was yesterday sentenced in the Hamilton District Court, still has name suppression.
He was found guilty in June of a representative charge of rape, unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault for the crimes which occurred over a period from September 2008 to February 2009.
His victim was 19 at the time but she has a mental age of between 6 and 10.
The man's daughter told Judge Glen Marshall her father suffered from depression and was at risk of self-harm. He had already carried out an eight-day hunger strike in prison and the family feared a long jail sentence would "destroy him".
"He is fragile both physically and psychologically. A long sentence with no light at the end of the tunnel will definitely ensure dad will die in jail."
She said she did not want to minimise the weight of the guilty verdict. But she suggested home detention with electronic monitoring as early into his sentence as possible would be more suitable for her father.
She also said he was a kind and generous man.
"We love you, dad," she said to her father as he sat in the dock.
Judge Marshall set the sentence at 12 years but reduced it by 18 months for the man's previous good character and a further six months for his health problems.
However the judge said there was premeditation in the attacks, which took place in the man's home, because he waited until the teenager's mother was not there.
The court heard that the victim was left revolted and confused by the man's interference, which she told him she did not want.
Judge Marshall said the sentence could not be reduced further because the man showed no remorse and had not pleaded guilty. As well, he knew the girl was mentally disabled, which limited her ability to consent to sex.
The man made several outbursts during the sentencing claiming his innocence but at one stage, when Judge Marshall referred to oral sex the man made the victim perform at least 10 times, he said it only happened "two times".
As Judge Marshall handed down 10 years on the first two guilty charges and two years for the third, to be served concurrently, the man pointed to the Crown prosecutor.
"She is a filthy liar," he shouted.
But Judge Marshall did not impose a minimum period of imprisonment so the man could be eligible for parole after he has served a third of his sentence.
His name remains suppressed because he faces charges over another alleged victim.