Man convicted on seven sex counts

A 41-year-old Dunedin man was yesterday found guilty on seven of nine charges alleging sexual offending against three women in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

The jury took less than three hours to reach its findings in the trial of the man, whose name remains suppressed until further order of the court.

Following the verdict in the Dunedin District Court, Judge Michael Crosbie convicted the man and remanded him in custody for sentence on March 21. He also gave him a first strike warning under the three strikes legislation.

The man was found guilty of unlawfully entering a 30-year-old woman's house at Gore on September 21, 2009, attempting to sexually violate her by attempted anal intercourse the same day and raping her.

He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a young woman by grabbing her bottom on more than one occasion at her Dunedin flat on March 1, 2010 and unlawfully entering the same young woman's home at Gore more than once, with intent to commit a crime, between April 6 and July 31, 2010. He was found not guilty of another indecent assault between March 1 and April 6 when he was accused of grabbing the young woman's breasts.

The man was discharged during the trial on one sexual violation charge alleging unlawful sexual connection with a third woman, aged about 40, at a Balclutha toilet on April 11, 2012.

However, he was found guilty of raping her in the toilet on the same night and raping her again near a church at Pukerau later in the night.

The defence case was that none of the incidents happened, although the man said he had sex with the third victim, with her consent, at Port Chalmers, several hours before giving her a ride to Gore, when she said he raped her. Scientific evidence identified his semen on swabs taken from that woman.

Crown counsel Craig Power and Sarah Saunderson-Warner put their closing arguments to the jury on Thursday afternoon and Judge Crosbie summed up the case yesterday before asking the jury to reach a verdict.

He reminded the jurors an accused person had to be presumed innocent and the Crown must prove the charges. The accused did not have to prove anything.

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