Six years jail for Tinder plotter

Damien Lindsay Paisley. Photo: Rob Kidd
Damien Lindsay Paisley. Photo: Rob Kidd
A Dunedin man who used a secret sex tape to coerce a Tinder match into several hours of depravity has been jailed for six years.

Damien Lindsay Paisley (39) was found guilty after a week-long jury trial at the Dunedin District Court in May when his name suppression was finally lifted.

He was convicted of three charges of sexual conduct with consent induced by threats, one of attempted sexual violation and one of making an intimate visual recording.

The victim read a statement yesterday, detailing how the ordeal had devastated her life.

“I had a happy, outgoing personality but you managed to change that,” she said.

“I became withdrawn, having nightmares reliving what you did to me.”

She had to give up one of her jobs due to post-traumatic stress disorder and almost lost her house, defaulting on mortgage payments.

Had it not been for financial support from family, the woman said, she may not have managed.

She had a message for Paisley.

“You treated me like you owned me and I was there for your personal sexual gratification. I was naive in thinking I had met a nice guy who was a bit quirky,” said the victim.

“Damien, you need some help.”

Paisley and the victim matched on the dating app Tinder in mid-May last year and met for coffee after chatting online.

Their conversations quickly became intimate which led to a video call during which both parties participated in sexual acts.

Unbeknown to the woman, Paisley had used an app on his phone to covertly record the exchange.

Over the following days the pair chatted and the victim was unsure whether the man was joking about having the footage of their private exchange.

Paisley said he would delete the video if she came to his house.

The defendant was too savvy to commit the threats to writing, instead coercing and ‘‘badgering’’ the victim during video calls, she told the court at trial.

On May 29, with obvious reluctance, the woman agreed to visit him.

She stressed she was only going to see Paisley to watch a movie, but he had other ideas.

Over the ensuing hours he repeatedly raised the existence of the video to push her into performing sex acts for him.

“She was squirming and fighting and saying ‘no’,” Judge Kevin Phillips said.

The victim described one particular episode where the man forced her into a degrading position while he watched a Hollywood actress on television.

‘‘Either he’s thought a lot about this or he’s done this before . . . It was like a game,’’ she told the court.

Defence counsel Anne Stevens QC said her client was “quite lonely” and his alcohol issues would make a prison term difficult.

She accepted there had been significant harm to the victim and stressed her client had made a written apology for making the film.

Judge Phillips, though, noted Paisley’s comments to Probation that the victim was a liar and the allegations were false.

“You were not calculating in your offending against her? I suggest . . . you were,” he said.

Paisley had serious dishonesty and drug charges among his criminal history but nothing of a sexual nature.

He was given a first-strike warning.


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