Royal New Zealand Navy sailor convicted of sexual assault on colleagues
New Zealand’s court martial at Devonport Naval Base heard that the sailor was accused of attacking three comrades. Photo / NZ Herald
A Navy sailor convicted of sexually assaulting three female comrades was sentenced to two years in the detention center of the service correctional facility.
The man, whose name has been deleted on an interim basis, was also removed from his post at a New Zealand court martial at Devonport Naval Base today.
The 27-year-old denied one charge of sexual violation and two of indecent assault, but was convicted of all charges by five servicemen yesterday. Military personnel operate in the same way as jurors in civilian trials.
The violation occurred when the sailors were deployed to Victoria, British Columbia, last August.
All three complainants had been drinking and were vulnerable when they were targeted, they told the military.
The sailor attempted to pry open a woman’s legs at a hotel before committing a sex offense, prosecutor Captain Grace Blanks said.
A second woman said she was dizzy with alcohol, trying not to vomit, when the accused assaulted her in a hotel bed. A third said the sailor grabbed her chest in a taxi before telling her to pay the taxi fare.
The sailor caused significant damage to his victims and brought the Royal New Zealand Navy into disrepute, Navy Chief Rear Admiral David Proctor said.
“He has disrespected the colleagues with whom he serves, as well as all those whose past service for many years has earned the respect of New Zealanders.
“There is no place in the Navy for such behavior and it is appalling that a member of our organization has so blatantly violated our core values of Tu Tira – Fellowship, Tu Maia – Integrity, Tu Tika – Commitment and Tu Kaha – Courage. “
The Navy should be a safe and respectful workplace free from harmful and inappropriate behavior, and he is committed to ensuring that, said Proctor.
“A workplace where seafarers are allowed to reach their full potential and are actively encouraged to do so.”