16 Jun 2012

Women let down by justice system - Rape Crisis

5:40 am on 16 June 2012

Rape Crisis says the justice system has let down the women who say they were sexually abused by a man who has had charges against him stayed.

William Cornelius, 79 was facing 22 charges, including rape, but walked free from the Whanganui District Court.

Judge David Cameron ruled he is unfit to stand trial because he has mild dementia.

Rape Crisis says he was mentally fit at the time of offending

National co-ordinator Georgia Knoll says suffering from dementia should not be an excuse to avoid a criminal hearing and his release shows how the justice system fails rape survivors.

Professor Warren Brookbanks of Auckland University says it is regrettable the case was not heard before Mr Cornelius developed dementia.