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Victim's secret recording helps put offender behind bars

Author
Carolyne Meng-Yee, NZ Herald,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Sunday, 31 March 2019, 12:51PM
A secret recording by a woman who was sexually abused has put her offender behind bars. (Photo / Getty)
A secret recording by a woman who was sexually abused has put her offender behind bars. (Photo / Getty)

A victim of sexual abuse turned detective when she secretly recorded the perpetrator 30 years later and took it to police.

Police say the audio was instrumental in helping them put Arthur (Art) Alan Green, 73, behind bars.

Green was sentenced to two and half years in jail after he was convicted on two charges of indecent acts with a girl under 12, two charges of indecent acts with a girl aged 12-16 and assault with intent to injure.

The conviction came after two trials last year - the first one resulted in a hung jury.

Among evidence produced against Green was a secret tape recording the victim had made after meeting with him in a central Auckland park almost 30 years after his actions.

The woman had hidden the recorder under her top in a bid to get evidence of his offending.

"I was freaking out, I was so scared," she said. "On the recording he said 'I made a lot of mistakes' but he never said 'I am sorry ... I did this to you'," the woman told the Herald on Sunday.

"The thing that helped me was the tape and journals I wrote [from the age of 10] - it was physical evidence that made the case stronger."

Detective Steve Norris - who worked on the case - said the audio had played a big part in the prosecution case.

"The tape was instrumental in getting a conviction," he said.

Norris added he admired the victim who persevered with two trials and had the courage to see "justice served".

Arthur Green who was jailed on sex charges in early March.
Arthur Green who was jailed on sex charges in early March.

Green was 37 when he first began abusing the then 10-year-old and for the next five years, it happened so much the victim said it seemed almost normal.

She didn't say a word, but as a teenager she knew there wasn't anything normal about it.

"The hardest thing was the shame and keeping it secret."

The victim - who is now aged in her 40s - has spoken exclusively to the Herald on Sundayto encourage other sexual abuse victims to come forward.

After five years of "almost daily" abuse the teenager had had enough, and threatened to expose him.

"Speaking out as a child wasn't an option for me. From the age of 10 I have only existed in this life going through the motions secretly living with guilt, shame, unworthiness and humiliation".

Fearing for her life, the victim phoned her mother who lived overseas to tell her Green had been molesting her.

"The worse thing for a parent to find out is your child is dead, the other is they have been sexually molested. Art Green is a monster, I hope he rots in hell," her mother said.

The victim later moved overseas in a bid to rebuild her life but couldn't erase the torment Green had inflicted.

The victim stayed silent for 30 years but a social gathering in 2016 triggered an "inner rage" that motivated her to confront Green.

"I wanted to report him to the police," she said.

Part of her "rage" was based on the fact the man had access to two young family members who were about to turn 10.

"If he hurt them and I said nothing I would be just as bad. I couldn't live with myself," she said.

It was then that she decided to try to secretly record a confession from her tormentor.

Earlier this month, Green appeared at the Auckland District Court and was jailed.

The victim and her family were relieved Green was handed a prison sentence.

Judge Kevin Glubb said Green's offending was "substantial"

"You exploited her trust for your own sexual interests" he said.

As the sex offender was led to the cells, he yelled: "I am innocent God knows I am innocent. I forgive my accusers."

The victim's mother said Green had "robbed my daughter of her life" and he didn't "show remorse because he is an arrogant narcissist".

Green had sought name suppression for medical reasons and argued publication of his name would cast suspicion on another person- that being the other Art Green, the star of the first series of The Bachelor NZ.

A spokesperson for the reality TV star said: "Art Green had absolutely no knowledge of the case or name suppression bid".

The victim is still haunted by her offender. Every night she checks under her bed, behind the doors and the closets. She has stayed single to keep her own daughter safe. She doesn't trust men and relationships terrify her.

The victim now wants to see a law change for historical sexual abuse cases - including potential stronger punishments recognising lifelong impacts.

"What was valuable for me was although the crime was an historical sexual abuse case the effects from it are not," she said.

"I would like to see the punishment to reflect that. What he did in those five years has affected my whole life".

Her message to other victims is simple: "You have a voice, you will be heard, you will be believed".

 

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