19 Jun 2018

Repeat sex offender jailed for attacks on 7-year-old

4:07 pm on 19 June 2018

A repeat child sex offender has been sentenced to preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of 8 years and three months.

Exterior of the High Court in Auckland

A 41-year-old man has been jailed indefinitely for sex crimes against a seven-year-old girl. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Glen Taniela Kepa appeared at the High Court in Auckland today where Justice Courtney jailed him indefinitely for sex crimes against a seven-year-old girl.

The sentence means the 41-year-old will have to prove he is no longer a threat to society before he is released.

Kepa had just served a sentence for sexually violating a 6-year-old girl. He was also convicted for beating her brother who confronted Kepa over the offending. Kepa choked the boy and swung him around the room, causing him to bang into the bedroom walls and the bed.

The 6-year-old girl committed suicide 10 years later.

Shortly after being released from prison several years ago Kepa got into a relationship with a woman.

He raped her seven-year-old daughter, threatening to kill her if she told anyone.

During the first attack, he choked the 7-year-old girl and only let her go just before she passed out.

Two years later, he attacked her while she slept in her bed. He punched her in the face and raped her.

On another occasion he was left at home to look after the girl who was watching television by the fire. He raped her and pulled a burning log and hit her with it.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney said Kepa had told one mental health practitioner that he had not had to use force during the attacks.

"It's almost victim blaming," Ms Culliney said.

Ms Culliney said despite Kepa having taken part in a sex offender rehabilitation programme while serving his first sentence, he had not changed his ways.

Justice Courtney insisted Kepa read the victim impact statement of the girl which showed she had been suicidal as a result of what Kepa had done to her.

Kepa's lawyer Mark Edgar said despite his client having defended the charges at trial, he was now sorry for what he had done and written a letter to the court.

He said even if his client was sentenced to a finite term, he would be 50 years old and would pose less of a risk.

Justice Courtney responded: "You, like I, know from experience that sexual offending goes on and on. I've seen 80 year olds who still can't help themselves."

In sentencing, Justice Courtney said Kepa had used violence in the attacks when he did not need to - he was a heavily built man in his 30s attacking a young girl.

In referring to the victim impact statement, Justice Courtney said the girl would struggle for the rest of her life.

"It must have surely brought home to you the terrible and long-lasting effect your offending has had on this child."

She said Kepa had told the pre-sentencing report writer that he was sorry but it appeared he was only sorry for the the circumstances he found himself in.

The judge said Kepa had written a letter to the court to say he was now committed to taking part in rehabilitation.

"It's a positive, but it is far too little and far too late," Justice Courtney said.

She said psychiatric reports showed Kepa had a disrupted childhood marred by family violence. He had turned to alcohol and drugs at a young age but had no history of mental illness.

While he had been given skills and strategies to avoid situations where he may reoffend he had failed to implement them.

His criminal history reflected a pattern of violent and sexual offending against children that had escalated over time.

Justice Courtney said there were no mitigating factors in the case and the risk to the public would be far too high with just a finite sentence and an extended supervision order after release.

Kepa's name will be added to the child sex offenders register.