Navy sailor guilty of sex attacks on female colleagues abroad

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 2 Jul 2021, 4:05PM
The male sailor and his female colleagues last year were in Victoria, capital of British Columbia in Canada. Photo / 123RF
The male sailor and his female colleagues last year were in Victoria, capital of British Columbia in Canada. Photo / 123RF

Navy sailor guilty of sex attacks on female colleagues abroad

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 2 Jul 2021, 4:05PM

A Navy sailor accused of sexual attacks on three female comrades has been found guilty on all charges.

At the Court Martial of New Zealand, the sailor, who has name suppression, had denied two indecent assault charges and one of sexual violation.

Five military members, who function in a similar way to jurors in civilian trials, retired on Thursday at Devonport Naval Base to consider their verdicts.

HMNZ ships Te Kaha (foreground) and Te Mana were deployed to Victoria, British Columbia, when the alleged offences happened. Photo / File

All the offences happened when sailors were deployed to Victoria, British Columbia.

Prosecutors told the trial all three women complainants had been drinking and were vulnerable when targeted last August.

Prosecutor Captain Grace Blanks said the sailor, 27, tried prising a woman's legs open in a hotel before committing sexual violation.

The Court Martial of New Zealand at Devonport Naval Base heard the male sailor was accused of preying on three female comrades. Photo / NZ Herald

A second woman said she was dizzy from alcohol, trying not to vomit, when the accused man molested her in a hotel bed.

A third said the sailor grabbed her breast in a taxi before telling her to pay the cab fare.

Defence counsel Paul Heaslip asked one complainant if she'd ever had a relationship with the accused.

She said she'd slept with him a few years before, but it was never a relationship and his sexual advances last year were unwanted.

Fellow defence counsel John van der Zanden suggested some sailors were upset last year at being told their deployment overseas was being extended.

Chief Judge Kevin Riordan and the five military members will consider what sentence to impose on the sailor.