13 Jan 2012

Turangi teen accused of sex attack asks forgiveness

3:48 pm on 13 January 2012

A Turangi teenager has asked God to forgive him and help him become a better man after telling a court he intends to plead guilty to the rape of a five-year-old tourist.

The girl was attacked on 21 December last year as she slept in a caravan at Club Habitat Holiday Park and suffered significant injuries.

A 16-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared in Taupo Youth Court on Thursday.

Police told the court they have amended one of the initial charges to a more serious nature, saying that when he raped the girl he caused grievous bodily harm. He also faces two other charges of rape and burglary.

The teenager indicated in court that he would plead guilty to the charges. In a prayer read out, he asked God to forgive him his sins and help him become a better man.

He has been remanded to a youth justice facility until a family group conference and a court hearing next Wednesday.

At that hearing, the court will decide whether to sentence him as a youth or adult.

Radio New Zealand understands that police will ask for him to be sentenced as an adult in the High Court, so that he can be sentenced to at least five years' jail.