Transgender man jailed for sex attack

A Dunedin transgender man has been jailed for six years for sexually violating one man and indecently assaulting two others.

Alex Aleti Seu. Photo: ODT
Alex Aleti Seu. Photo: ODT

Alex Aleti Seu (30) will spend at least four years behind bars after attacking and violating a drunk man as he walked home after a night out in Dunedin.

He also indecently assaulted two male flatmates while on bail for the sexual violation offences.

The two most serious charges came from an incident on June 26 last year near the Captain Cook Hotel.

It was revealed in court today that Seu “considered the encounter consensual until he read the victim impact statement''.

Judge Kevin Phillips scoffed at the suggestion the violation was considered consensual.

“It was an attack by you on a man that you selected as he was highly intoxicated,'' Judge Phillips said.

Seu followed the victim from a bar in the Octagon down George St to Albany St.

There he attacked him, dragging him into an alleyway, throwing him into a brick wall, stunning him in the process.
He pulled the victim's pants down and sexually violated him, before the victim was able to escape momentarily.

Seu pursued the victim and forced him down in the grounds of a church.

There he again pulled the victim's pants down and sexually violated him.

The man struggled, but Seu grabbed hold of him and said: “come back here'', the court heard.

The victim suffered rectal injuries as a result of the attack as well as suffering from “severe psychological'' impacts, Judge Phillips said.

Seu – who was said to be wearing women's clothing and carrying a handbag at the time the attack on the young man took place, according to initial police information of the attack – was bailed after being arrested for the attacks.

While on remand he indecently assaulted two of his male flatmates.

During the assaults, which occurred on August 10 and August 18, he groped and pushed his backside into the groins of the flatmates.

The court heard a pre-sentence report assessed Seu as potentially being a high-risk of reoffending.

However, crown prosecutor Craig Power questioned that assessment.

“He's assessed as potentially a high-risk, where in my submission that understates it – he is a high-risk,'' Mr Craig said.

Defence lawyer Sarah Saunderson-Warner said Seu's offending was opportunistic.

But Judge Phillips dismissed that notion, saying it featured a a “high-degree of premeditation, determination and violence''.

Seu was jailed for six years and nine months on the most serious sexual violation charge, four years' jail on the secondary sexual violation charge and one year for each of the three counts of indecent assault. All sentences will be served concurrently.

Seu was handed a minimum non-parole period of four years' jail.

Seu - who was wearing a white blouse tied across his chest during the hearing - shook his head, covered his mouth with his hand and had a look of disbelief on his face as Judge Phillips read some of the details of his offending.

He pleaded guilty to the offences in January.