Sentenced for underage sex with girl

A man who had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl was sentenced to home detention and community work when dealt with in the Dunedin District Court.

Jade Awanui Francis-Smith (27), employed, of Dunedin, was also ordered to pay $1200 emotional harm reparation.

He had admitted one charge of having sexual connection with a young person aged under 16.

The fact summary said Francis-Smith was flatting with several associates at a Princes St address between November 1 and December 25, 2012.

After running away from home, the 15-year-old victim was introduced to Francis-Smith through mutual associates.

At his invitation, she moved into his address and stayed for about three weeks, sleeping in his bedroom.

During that time, Francis-Smith and others in the flat often held parties which were attended by a range of people, some of whom were young persons. After one party, Francis-Smith had sexual intercourse with the victim.

He took no steps to find out whether the victim was of, or over, the age of 16. Spoken to by police, he denied knowing she was 15.

From pre-sentence material, Judge Kevin Phillips noted effects on the victim included depression, suicidal thoughts and her having difficulty in trusting males. She became a heavy user of synthetic cannabis and struggled with counselling as she ''is not a person who talks about things''.

There was no act of sexual grooming or feeding of drugs or alcohol, the judge acknowledged.

But he told Francis-Smith ''there was an 11-year age difference''. Francis-Smith was sentenced to eight months' home detention and 200 hours' community work.

Detention conditions, and post-detention conditions for six months, include requirement to undergo an alcohol and drug programme and a departmental psychological assessment and any follow-up.

Francis-Smith is also not to have contact with persons aged under 16 unless under approved adult supervision, and he is not have contact with the victim.

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