Matthew William Washer was jailed for 14 years in the High Court at New Plymouth, New Zealand, on child sex abuse charges.
A man caught groping a woman as a teenager has been jailed for sexually abusing a young girl, but avoided a sentence of preventive detention reserved for the country's most serious offenders.
The High Court at New Plymouth heard how as a 16-year-old, Washer was convicted of indecent assault after he accosted a woman on the street and grabbed her bottom. At the time, he had a belief that once he touched the woman, she would want to have sex with him.
As part of his Youth Court sentence, Washer attended 25 sessions of counselling, but failed to graduate from the programme. A report from the service outlined how difficult he had been and that his attitude to the treatment ranged from good to indifferent.
Justice Rebecca Ellis said five years later, in 2011, Washer began his sexual abuse of a young girl, who was aged nine.
Washer kissed and indecently touched the child, before he forced her to perform a sex act on him. He also raped her multiple times.
The offending caused physical and emotional distress to the victim, who was repeatedly told by Washer to keep the abuse a secret, the judge said.
It was the escalation of offending that prosecutor Justin Marinovich pointed to when making an application for preventive detention for Washer. Preventive detention involves an indeterminate prison term.
Marinovich said preventive detention was required to protect the community from the ongoing risk Washer posed.
In making his case, he pointed to a 2006 report completed on Washer following his Youth Court conviction.
He said it outlined concerns with the defendant's attitude and provided some insight into Washer's "sexual mindset" which included elements of planning and premeditation in targeting women.
Defence lawyer Julian Hannam, who opposed preventive detention, said Washer wanted the court to know he accepted the "seriousness" of what he had done.
"He realises he needs help to address that offending and do what he can to make himself safe for the community," Hannam said.
Justice Ellis said when police spoke to Washer about the 2011-2016 abuse, he told them the victim had "enjoyed" it and he would not have done anything she did not want to do.
This view was dismissed by the judge.
"You must have known what you were doing was wrong." She described the abuse as "truly dreadful" and said it had caused significant harm to the victim.
"She was a little girl when you started doing sexual things with her. You were an adult. Adults don't have sex with children," she told the defendant.
Except in a sick, sick world.
Justice Ellis said while the victim had been terribly harmed by what had happened, Washer's offending was an affront to the entire community.
"Women shouldn't been seen as sexual objects by men, especially little girls," she said.
Psychiatric and pyschological reports prepared on Washer for the court both highlighted his high risk of reoffending if he did not get any help. Washer had since expressed a willingness to attend programmes, while in prison, to address his offending.
This undertaking, the ongoing supervision offered by the fact Washer's name would be added to the child sex offenders' register and the option available to the Corrections Department to apply for an extended supervision order if required, satisfied Justice Ellis that preventive detention was not required.
Washer will remain on the child sex offenders' register for the rest of his life, where he will have to abide by numerous conditions, including informing police about who he is living with, details of his internet provider and any on-line user names and passwords.
After a final sentence of 14 years' jail was imposed, Justice Ellis then ruled Washer needed to serve a minimum period of eight years behind bars before he became eligible for parole.
A strike warning was previously issued against him. - New Zealand has a 3 strike rule.