16 Apr 2016

Korean who raped teen wins deportation battle

6:09 am on 16 April 2016

A South Korean man who took turns with a friend to rape a teenage girl has won his fight not to be deported.

Young Jin Bae told the Immigration and Protection Tribunal he did not think that he had raped the drunk 16-year-old because she said stop, but did not push him away.

Bae's victim told the tribunal she wanted him to stay in New Zealand as she would be at risk of meeting him if he was deported to South Korea, as she moved there after the rape.

He said he regretted pleading not guilty and appealing his conviction, forcing his victim to travel twice from South Korea to give evidence.

He was due to be deported after finishing a six-year sentence.

But the tribunal lifted the deportation order, on condition he does not re-offend for five years.

It said his humanitarian circumstances, and the victim's wishes, outweighed the seriousness of his offending and the public interest in him being deported.

He is now the head barista at a cafe and plans to move to Wellington.

He has lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years and told the tribunal he would have difficulty adjusting to South Korean life and finding a job. His father is a pastor and Bae does youth work at church.

A psychologist said he presented a low risk of re-offending and would suffer distress and isolation if he was separated from his New Zealand-based family.

The tribunal heard the vulnerable victim, who was described as heavily and obviously intoxicated, was raped by two men in turns.

"She was left naked and terrified, extremely vulnerable, humiliated by others coming into the room, and was later verbally abused by the appellant and his friend," said the sentencing judge.

Read the full Immigration and Protection Tribunal decision.