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Louise Nicholas: Roast Busters ringleader only 'sorry he got caught'

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 1:16p.m.
Roast busters accused Joseph Parker.

A victims' advocate says Roast Buster Joseph Parker is only "sorry he got caught" and his decision to speak out about the group is "all about himself" and "his music career".

Joseph Parker uploaded a video asking for people to fund his musical ambitions days before an exclusive interview where he spoke out about the group for the first time.

The 23-year-old today told Newshub he was speaking out in an attempt to "make amends" for the actions of the group.

Parker and Beraiah Hales were alleged to have been the ringleaders of the Roast Busters, a group who bragged about having sex with girls as young as 13.

However, victims' advocate, Louise Nicholas told Heather du Plessis-Allan his decision to speak up is purely about his music career.

"What he is doing is not being remorseful at all. It's all about himself and he needs to step up and own what he and his mates have done in the past."

"This is pretty much for himself and what he's wanting to do with his music career."

"If he's truly remorseful then why doesn't he pick up the phone and talk to SAFE, an organisation that helps people who harm sexually, and say, I know what I did was wrong, what can I do to be better for myself and to ensure that if I see or hear anything, I can actually step up and be the right person?".

"The fact that he actually apparently put a song together about their exploits...just really? Nah, [it's] wrong."

Nicholas said he's only sorry he got caught.

"He's making this all about himself. He's sorry about, basically, getting caught."

"Yes, charged weren't laid, there wasn't enough evidence but by coming out now what he is doing...has just created more trauma and re-victimised those girls."

She said if he was truly remorseful he should have spoken out earlier.

"Why leave it until now? Is he older? Is he wiser? I don't think he's wiser, he's just looking at a career and he's needing crowdfunding to boost it."

"If he was truly sorry about what he and his friends put those girls through this would have been done and dusted five years ago."

By speaking out now all he is doing is causing more harm, she said.

"I had a lady call me last night, something similar happened to her 30 years ago, it has triggered her trauma again."

"This is what I'm trying to get people to understand, we hate hearing in the news about sexual violence...but when you're putting it back out there, something that has happened in the past, it re-victimises our survivors and their families and it's not fair."

She said it's incredibly important to educate our young people and society about sexual assault and harm.

"For our young people, what they see on social media....it's kinda like uncle Google is showing them about safe sexual relationships but they aren't safe sexual relationships, what it is soft porn."

"So it's about educating our young people that's not how relationships work."

Nicholas said it's not about forgiving Parker, it's about him taking action to make himself better.

"It's about him actually acknowledging, in a remorseful way, taking the right step."

She said writing a song about the incident wasn't appropriate or acceptable.

Parker and Beraiah Hales were alleged to have been the ringleaders of the Roast Busters, a group of predominantly West Auckland youths who bragged on the group's Facebook page about having sex with girls as young as 13.

Police investigated the group several times after a 13-year-old made a formal complaint about the youths in 2011.

At least four other girls came forward and made formal statements to police about the actions of the group.

No one was ever charged in relation to the allegations - despite the police investigation and an exhaustive review - due to a lack of evidence.

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