An Auckland schoolgirl is now scared to ride the train after being threatened with sexual violence online then accosted by the same group of boys on public transport.
Last year Anna*, who was 13 at the time, was sent a series of sexually graphic and explicit messages on Instagram, with one of the boys warning they would be coming to her house.
"I ended up getting quite scared. I felt threatened, humiliated, like what were they trying to do? Were there other girls, or you know, it wasn't just me?"
The private messages included comments threatening that she needed one of the teens' genitals in her mouth to "shut the f*** up", as well as dozens of other messages, most of which are too explicit to publish.
One boy then told her over Instagram that another was "coming to ur house" because he found her address on SnapMaps, then referred to an act the boy wanted to do.
Immediately she took screenshots of the messages and blocked their accounts, she also became aware of a "fan" page which she says the boys created of her.
Anna told her parents, and the matter was reported to police but her father said it took over a month for them to be handed to the child youth officer who took on the case.
"In the first instance, I was impressed, the police officer did a good job. He turned up at the boys' homes. He confronted them with their parents, he showed the parents the text messages that sent to Anna, and the parents were horrified," the girl's father said.
He said the boys had not told their parents, and the police made the youths write apologies to his daughter.
He also claimed that they were told by police the boys were going to be given a course of counselling about the situation through their school, Mt Albert Grammar.
However, in a statement, the school's headmaster Patrick Drumm said the first they heard of the incident was earlier this month, and they were unaware of any complaint during 2020.
The girl's father said news that the counselling course at school had not been undertaken left him "aghast".
"This is the safety net, the police basically [said] that the counselling through the school was meant to moderate and educate the boys."
Police could not confirm whether the school was informed of the case or whether any counselling was issued.
At the time of the first incident, Anna thought the response seemed reasonable, she thought the school was involved, the boys would learn and that things wouldn't go on.
But she was wrong.
A year later while at the Newmarket train station, Anna says she and a friend were commuting when they saw the same three boys, as well as two others.
Anna says the two new boys came over and confronted her, calling her a snitch and saying that she went to the police about their schoolmates.
Her friend told her to ignore them.
"She was telling them, like, leave us alone. It's none of your business, like go back to them [the other boys] and just let us have a good day. And so they eventually left and went back to the group."
The incident didn't end here, and once the pair got on to the train they moved a few carriages away from the boys and into an empty section.
Soon after taking off, she said the boys came down the carriage and sat near her, with one of the new students asking her why she "bullied" one of the other boys.
Anna said false information shared by the teens, who accused her of being a bully, hurt her and she felt their comments were harmful.
When the girls got off to leave she says all the boys started yelling, repeating what they had said throughout, that she was to "blame".
"I just felt quite threatened again, I felt like they hadn't changed."
Now she questions why she should be the one excluded from going on public transport when all she wanted was for this to be "resolved".
"I had confidence, I wasn't the shy kid at the bottom of the class, and I felt maybe that kind of had a turn on how they behaved for me like they saw me as confident, and they tried to break that down."
Drumm said his understanding was that as this incident occurred outside of school it was referred to the police who have been working with the families involved.
"The board and school leadership treat any complaints involving bullying or harassment very seriously and have sound processes for addressing such complaints."
The girl's father said he felt that the boys perhaps should have been suspended, but said he was told "that can't happen, suspension's not an option" by the vice-principal.
However, he discovered through an online search that this wasn't the case and there is a clear precedent for "gross misconduct" to justify the punishment.
He outlined his concerns in an email to the school's board and called for them to reassess the decision not to suspend those involved.
Drumm was asked about whether suspension was considered but he did not address the query.
In a statement, Auckland area commander Inspector Grant Tetzlaff said because the matter involves young people they are limited in what they can say to media.
"Police have dealt with two incidents involving these young people. These matters have been dealt with through the youth process and have had the involvement of family."
Also of concern for Anna's father, was the fact that a proposed meeting between the parents and police was cancelled when he said initially he was unable to attend.
He was told over message by an officer that the parents found there would be "no value" in holding a meeting without him being there, and when he could attend it had already been canned.
The father thought that given all the parties were organised he didn't see a reason why it wouldn't go ahead.
Police could not confirm why the meeting did not go ahead.
Tetzlaff said the second incident that was reported in May had been investigated and involved the same group of young people.
While they are restricted in what they can share, Tetzlaff said police had investigated that matter thoroughly and no criminal offending was identified.
Anna's dad isn't just worried for her going forward, he's nervous it's not just a "one-off event".
"That is an arrow pointing to a future that I don't want them to go to. And I don't want their victims to, to discover them either."
Both Anna and her father said the way her case was handled was in stark contrast to how well things had been approached at Christchurch Girls High School.
"A lost dog would have got faster attention [from authorities]," her father said.
*Anna's name has been changed to protect her identity
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 contact the Safe to Talk confidential crisis helpline on:
• Text 4334 and they will respond
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Visit https://safetotalk.nz/contact-us/ for an online chat