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Lawyer rebuked over 'asking for it' claim

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/05/2017

A lawyer who claimed women were "asking for it" by putting their cell phone numbers on a dating site has been soundly rebuked by a judge.

Lawyer Herman Roose made the comment in the Rotorua District Court on Thursday where he was appearing for Taupo man Aaron Shaun Guise, who was being sentenced over 18 offences relating to text bombing seven women with sexually explicit and offensive messages.

Guise threatened to kill some of the women, do them grievous bodily harm or set gangs on them. He also impersonated a police officer or suggested his father was one.

Judge Maree Mackenzie made it abundantly clear she rejected counsel's suggestion the victims had brought matters on themselves.

She said his claim women were "asking for it" by posting their phone numbers was out-dated in the digital age, likening it to claims women were asking to be raped because she wore a short shirt or showed her cleavage

"These young ladies don't deserve to be treated in this way."

She sentenced Guise, 33, to three years and four months behind bars, noting he had convictions for previous similar offending. He had pleaded guilty to all charges three days before his trial was to begin.

Judge Mackenzie described Guise's threats as sexually perverse and amounting to criminal harassment.

She outlined how he had obtained cell phone numbers of women aged from 14-24 mostly from the online dating site Find Someone.

He had threatened one woman he'd put a "hit" out on her through the Killer Bees gang.

He told another he was well connected with the Killer Bees, Black Power and Head Hunters and she would regret threatening him.

Referring to a victim who had visited Guise in Taupo, spending a few days with him before she 'cooled off him', the judge said he told her she'd "f****d with the wrong guy" and in another message said "you are dead, watch your back in the street" and "I know people who will take you out."

He'd told his 14- year-old victim "I'll take you head off ... smash you."

She said it was abundantly clear the community needed to be protected form Guise.

"You have completely minimised your offending, shown no remorse or empathy for your victims, no understanding of your behaviour."

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