The Dim-Post

November 5, 2013

For justice we must go to Don Corleone

Filed under: crime — danylmc @ 6:23 am

TV3 dropped another bombshell last night: one of the alleged gang-rapists in the Roastbusters group that police insist they’re powerless to prosecute is the son of a police-officer.

I’m guessing that the government will step in today announcing an inquiry of some kind: you can’t have vigilante gangs forming in Auckland because police have failed to prevent their family members from (allegedly) gang-raping minors. I’ll be interested to find about how robust the investigation into this group was. If the Roastbusters were boasting about, say, manufacturing methamphetamine online the police would have probable grounds for intercept and surveillance warrants. Did they apply for warrants to gather evidence on these guys? If they did and simply didn’t find enough evidence to get a prosecution then that’s one thing, but if they didn’t even conduct a proper investigation . . .

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51 Comments »

  1. Ouch.

    Comment by Hugh — November 5, 2013 @ 6:51 am

  2. This one is like a rotten onion, layers upon layers of disgusting behaviour.

    Comment by alex — November 5, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  3. I suspect Cameron Slater will be behind it all. Except we all know he is being manipulated by Kim Dotcom. Who, in turn, is in league with shadowy leftists to bring down John Banks. Shadowy leftists are always in the pay of the hidden global one world government, through their front organisation the NZ Labour party. Paddy Gower will eventually fearlessly join the dots and squarely sheet home blame to where it really belongs – Labour’s Man Ban.

    Apart from Kiwiblog, you read it here first.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 5, 2013 @ 7:45 am

  4. If the Roastbusters were boasting about, say, manufacturing methamphetamine online the police would have probable grounds for intercept and surveillance warrants.

    Sure. But from the police perspective, manufacturing meth is a crime, whereas putting the odd chick on the block with your mates is just a bit of laddish over-exuberance (or sworn officers’ leisure activity, if said officers are in Rotorua).

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 5, 2013 @ 7:55 am

  5. No, psycho, it is a crime to have sex with an underage girl, and also to give her alcohol. Apparently the police have been monitoring the site for 2 years, “gathering evidence”, but say they can’t lay charges unless one of the victims complains. I don’t know if that is correct or not. Perhaps one of the legal minds here can illuminate.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 5, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  6. “Joseph Levall Parker, son of Hollywood actor Anthony Ray Parker” as the Herald named one of them this morning. Guess this will now go explosively global. Wonder he feels about being named?

    Comment by grant — November 5, 2013 @ 8:17 am

  7. Apparently the police have been monitoring the site for 2 years, “gathering evidence”, but say they can’t lay charges unless one of the victims complains.

    Well, they could lay charges without a complaint. But …

    (1) If the victim won’t testify voluntarily, the chances of gaining a conviction are virtually nil (in the absence of something like a video clearly showing the accused having sex with an unarguably identifiable victim) … and if the accused gets a not-guilty verdict, then you can’t prosecute them again later;

    (2) Even if the prosecution didn’t call the victim as a witness, the defence may well do so … meaning you have a young woman (girl) who already has suffered sexual trauma having to unwillingly relive the experience on the stand.

    None of which is to say the investigation of the issue was satisfactory/fully thorough – but what the police are saying isn’t completely silly.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 5, 2013 @ 8:18 am

  8. The part I found interesting was the statement the police had known about these guys since 2011. REALLY??!! How on earth could they let them keep going for 2 years without taking action of some kind. Presumably the police officer father of one of then could / should have taken some kind of action if he was aware of his son’s involvement.

    This is beginning to smell.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — November 5, 2013 @ 8:52 am

  9. What _legal_ action would you suggest, Steve? That is the point, I think. The police have to obey the laws, just like everyone else.

    Comment by David in Christchurch — November 5, 2013 @ 9:31 am

  10. http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/new-legislation-targets-roast-buster-style-cyberbullying-netsafe-judith-collins-CK

    ‘The legislation will also make it an offence to send messages and post material online that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false, punishable by up to three months’ imprisonment or a $2000 fine.’

    Knowingly false? The devil’s gotta be in the details here.

    Comment by xy — November 5, 2013 @ 9:46 am

  11. ‘The legislation will also make it an offence to send messages and post material online that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false, punishable by up to three months’ imprisonment or a $2000 fine.’

    Gosh … how is Whaleoil going to function?

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 5, 2013 @ 9:50 am

  12. One wonders about the timing of the release of this news story, since National is introducing the “Harmful Communications Bill” today, which makes it a crime to offend someone on the Internet: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11151475

    and John Key has linked the two: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11151474

    quote: “And then to be essentially doing a form of what looks like cyber bullying to me and posting this information on a Facebook site will also be illegal under the new legislation we’re bringing into the House today.”

    So did the Government collude with NZ Police to sit on the case until the bill was due to be introduced to increase support? Probably not.

    Comment by Surly — November 5, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  13. Why is drunken group sex such a taboo when, for example, two teenage boys shoving things up each others arses isn’t?

    Rape is horrible but no one has actually said they have been raped. I love all the chauvinists on here who can’t believe that a woman can enjoy sex enough to engage with more than one dude at a time.

    Comment by King Kong — November 5, 2013 @ 10:43 am

  14. King Kong – Which “chauvinists” are suggesting that drunken group sex is “taboo” or that women can’t enjoy multiple partner sex?

    Comment by Gregor W — November 5, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  15. KK: What is taboo is getting _underage_ girls drunk, and then taking advantage of their drunken state to have sex with them. BOTH of those activities are _illegal_.

    Comment by David in Christchurch — November 5, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  16. “I love all the chauvinists on here who can’t believe that a 14 year old girl can enjoy sex enough to engage with more than one dude at a time.”

    FIFY

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 5, 2013 @ 11:10 am

  17. Rape is horrible but no one has actually said they have been raped.

    Except, I guess, for the guys who did the raping (in their “boasts” on Facebook). And the girls who’ve told Police what happened to them, but been too traumatised to testify in court. So, yeah … apart from these people, no-one has said there’s been any raping going on.

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 5, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  18. Well said, PB and FL. One thing you forgot, PB, was “a 14 year old girl plied with alcohol ….”.

    FIFY. ;)

    Comment by David in Christchurch — November 5, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  19. jesus KK – what bit of “unconscious therefore not able to consent” doesnt equal rape for you?

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  20. Of course you are guessing that group sex took place with a 14 year old because even though “the pigs are total fascist hate mongers” I can assure you that if there was one iota of verifiable evidence that this had taken place, they would have acted.

    I am guessing (like everyone who hasn’t seen all the entries on this facebook page) that a lot of this stuff is the written sexual experiences of these teenage boys (no names, no pictures, no video). Now if you believe what they are writing to be completely true then you are going to love reading Penthouse forum.

    Comment by King Kong — November 5, 2013 @ 11:35 am

  21. The original TV3 article has one girl claiming rape (anonymously)… Today’s news has mentioned at least one girl attempting to take her life …

    Rape/date rape/sex with a minor (and whatever other combinations) – they’re all hideous crimes and are most definitely not cool. If they really believe what they are doing, in all seriousness, is a legitimate occupation, which they don’t do for their own enjoyment (as the footage seems to suggest), then they are completely mentally disturbed, and need locking away to prevent them from harming anyone else. I don’t think it requires ‘brave’ girls to make that case. This is real life – not hyper-real gaming. These men don’t seem to be able to distinguish, and sooner or later that is going to be accorded a psychological disorder (if it isn’t already).

    We should be above vigilante justice, but atm, it seems the only recourse, and most aren’t going to decry it for that simple reason.

    As a father, I would feel utterly lost if I raised a child who carried out these actions…

    Comment by Sam — November 5, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  22. @King Kong,

    … I can assure you that if there was one iota of verifiable evidence that this had taken place, they would have acted.

    As they did. The Police are on record as saying they hauled in the guys involved and grilled them, but without a victim being prepared to testify about what happened to them, could not prosecute. Or do you think the Police are in the habit of going around interviewing the teenage participants in group sex events just for the shits and giggles?

    Now if you believe what they are writing to be completely true then you are going to love reading Penthouse forum.

    Which is why the facebook posts, etc are not sufficient evidence in and of themselves on which to base a conviction in criminal court (albeit that they would be evidence that could be added to other sources). These posts are, however, plenty enough for us to on a blogsite decry these guys as fucking evil rapists. Because if that’s how they want to present themselves to the world, I’m happy to respond in kind.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 5, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  23. and do you believe it to be totally false?

    all we can go on is their claims – and the police have said that they have known victims who dont want to make a formal complaint – its a lack of court worthy evidence and not a doubting of the boys honesty that is the issue it would seem

    so occams razor, evidence and all that shit or we can just carry on minimising the alleged stupefaction and group raping of people like you seem keen to do

    I note that the believability of the claims wasnt your first line of argument here

    You say some pretty offensive shit, but this is a whole new low for you. I hope for your own mental health your just trolling

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  24. You are right framu, hand me that pitchfork.

    Comment by King Kong — November 5, 2013 @ 11:53 am

  25. no pitch form buddy – just common human decency.

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  26. bah – “fork” not “form”

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  27. King Kong – the men in question have admitted rape, some of the girls have said they were raped to the police (just not in formal statements). Sometimes 1 + 1 really does equal 2.

    Comment by Sam — November 5, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  28. “If the Roastbusters were boasting about, say, manufacturing methamphetamine online the police would have probable grounds for intercept and surveillance warrants.”

    You keep on with this line that sex crimes are like any other crime.

    Actually, they’re not.

    Comment by NeilM — November 5, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

  29. neil @ 27 – i thought that comment was relating to the enthusiasm and responses of the police in the two different scenarios – not the equatability of the crimes.

    but that could just be me

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

  30. I can assure you that if there was one iota of verifiable evidence that this had taken place, they would have acted.

    I’d be interested to know the basis on which you can offer such an assurance. Leaving aside any qualifications you might have for acting as police spokesman, there are significant factors that militate against assurance in this matter:

    1. The evidence would have to be good enough to make conviction at least a plausible possibility, which one expects would require more than ‘one iota’ of evidence.
    2. The cops have form for not taking rape seriously.
    3. The cops have form for protecting their own against criminal charges (the coverage of which, for all we know, extends to family members).

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 5, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

  31. “plenty enough for us to on a blogsite decry these guys as fucking evil rapists”

    Well, for the moment, with a libel action expensive and risky, your advice is probably good.

    But as and when the ‘Harmful Digital Comms Bill’ passes, that will change. They’d have cause to cheaply and easily issue a takedown notice, call the blog author in front of Netsafe or whoever or bring action in the District Court.

    Comment by richdrich — November 5, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  32. the facebook posts, etc are not sufficient evidence in and of themselves on which to base a conviction in criminal court

    They do provide the basis for police to conduct a proper investigation though, and it sounds a lot like this didn’t happen.

    Comment by danylmc — November 5, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

  33. As both sam and Andrew Geddis pointed out, and as the most recent news posts indicate, the police had been following the group posts and had spoken to some of the young women, but none were willing (or able?) to lay a complaint and testify in court. The police stated that they did not want to push too hard, lest they victimise the young women again.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 5, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

  34. David in Chch. quite true – and on its own that sounds like the proper thing to do. But its not all that could be done, and in the light of the now exposed family connections the question has become “Is that all you plan on doing?”

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  35. Fair comment, but then it still begs the question – what can they _legally_ do? We decry strong arm tactics when we think it inappropriate, but do we support strong arm tactics when it suits us now? That’s what legal process is for – to try as much as possible to remove subjectivity and emotion from the proceedings. It’s not easy, I agree.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 5, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  36. David in Chch – one would hope they have at the least obtained a warrant and conducted a search

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

  37. Ah, and there’s the rub. To get a warrant, they need a complaint. At least that is how I understand the law. They cannot go “fishing”.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 5, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

  38. hmm – while an american term, wouldnt some sort of probably cause apply?

    Is it fishing if youve got someone saying “i totes did heaps of particular crime A”

    Comment by framu — November 5, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

  39. To get a warrant, they need a complaint

    Nope. Not sure what a warrant would be useful for in this case – perhaps you mean for accessing mobile phone footage? – but the Police only require suspicion that a crime has been or is going to be committed, or under a statutory power.

    In the absence of statutory authority, the Police do require consent to seach from the peson being searched as I understand it. Maybe AG can chime in here.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 5, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

  40. Ah, and there’s the rub. To get a warrant, they need a complaint. At least that is how I understand the law. They cannot go “fishing”.

    Who lays the co plaints that lead to wiretaps in drug cases?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 5, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

  41. At least one of the young men involved has described himself as a rapist, so I’m not clear where the defamation would be.

    Comment by Stephen J — November 5, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  42. I had a tremendous sense of deja vue reading this entry. Didn’t Danyl write a very similar one a year or so ago about possible Police favouritism privileging friends or relatives?

    About what they can do – surely there’s sufficient evidence to have executed a few search warrants for more? Doesn’t trying to establish a case usually involve such?

    Comment by Fentex — November 5, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  43. “At least one of the young men involved has described himself as a rapist, so I’m not clear where the defamation would be.”

    Against the ones that haven’t ‘confessed’ ? Somebody you know admitting to something isn’t evidence that you did the same.

    Also, under the new law , evidence may not be necessary.

    If anyone requests a hosting provider or website remove content and they refuse, they become liable for that content – so they’ll be highly likely (at least in the case of NZ sites) to remove anything on demand. It’ll be kind of ironic if this law gets Whaleoil shut down, given almost all his posts are complaint-worthy in some way.

    Comment by richdrich — November 5, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

  44. These are unwise and undoubtedly selfish young men, but I’m uneasy about the amount of hype being whipped up around a bit of teenage braggadocio. The swaggering Facebook posts and the tasteless jokes are unpleasant, but so far the only illegal act that I’m aware of anyone admitting to is a 16 year-old male claiming to have had sex with a 13 year-old girl (which is technically illegal, though as I recall a few years ago there were proposals to allow such ‘Romeo and Juliet’ liaisons that were shouted down by hysterical front-page headlines from the Sunday Star Times). Without any complaints of criminal conduct, this looks like a media-driven vigilante campaign against a group of youths many of whom are legally children themselves.

    The likes of Andrew Geddis and Russell Brown may be happy to label the individuals involved as “fucking evil rapists,” but those of us who can still remember being 17 might just describe them as merely “young and stupid.”

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — November 5, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

  45. @Higgs Boatswain,

    The cops haven’t spent two years monitoring these guys, with all that prevented them laying charges being that the girls involved won’t testify, because they are just 17 year olds doing what seventeen year olds do. They have far more and better things to do than be the morality police for teenagers.

    And, frankly, even suggesting that what we’ve heard about how these guys operated is just ordinary17 year old boys doing what 17 year old boys will do is pretty average (as well as insulting to 17 year olds of either gender). There’s a pretty clear line between being “young and stupid” and being a fucking evil rapist, and I’m happy to put them on the wrong side of it.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 5, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

  46. “but those of us who can still remember being 17 might just describe them as merely “young and stupid.”

    ” us” ?

    That just implies you should be in jail as well, where maybe you can reflect.

    Comment by grant — November 5, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

  47. even if they require ‘a complaint’ to investigate further, does it have to be a complaint from one of the victims? if so, how do they cope in murder cases?

    Comment by kahikatea — November 5, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  48. There’s been a tremendous amount of certainty in the blogosphere that the police failed and failed because they have a “rape culture”.

    It’s a fairly major accusation to make and it’s being done on very little evidence.

    What if the investigating officers did actually do their best, that they were constrained by the law and by consideration for the young girls involved.

    That’s equally as likely as the rape culture scenario.

    But at present we have the rush to judgement followed by, and this is unbelievable, calls for the police to have “lent” on the perpetrators harder.

    How quickly we can become a screaming lynch mob.

    Comment by NeilM — November 5, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  49. @kahikitea: The absence of a victim’s testimony isn’t usually made much of by defense lawyers in murder cases.

    Comment by Hugh — November 6, 2013 @ 12:42 am

  50. all true and fair enough neil m – though on the flip side i wouldnt confuse the two main themes of “the public is quite disturbed by this, and could the police please answer some rather pertinent and legitimate questions?” and “kill the sons of bitches!”

    An awful lot of people seem to just want to know that the investigation has indeed been all it could be and that the police arent taking a soft approach for obvious reasons. We have had rather a spate of botched, bungled and sometimes illegal carry on from the force as of late

    seeking answers isnt the same as getting the pitch forks out

    ( though on the rape culture thing – its not without precedent is it )

    Comment by framu — November 6, 2013 @ 7:23 am

  51. @framu

    Fair enough

    But a lot of what I’ve read has been people make all too quick judgements.

    If there’s a need to call the police to account then that does need to be based on fact .

    In the first instance I’d like to see what legal advice the police received.

    Comment by NeilM — November 6, 2013 @ 7:35 pm


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