HIV+ man jailed for sex with children

An HIV-positive man who sexually abused two children under 12 after serving time in jail for a similar offence has avoided an indefinite jail term.

Rory Francis, 27, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland today to nine years and four months' jail after admitting 18 sexual offences over a period of nearly three months earlier this year.

A minimum non-parole period of four years eight months was imposed by Justice Patrick Keane, who rejected a crown submission for the indefinite prison term of preventive detention.

Justice Keane said 13 of the charges were in relation to a girl under 12. They included one of rape, six of sexual violation and six of sexual conduct relating to a child under 12.

The other five charges were of sexual conduct relating to a child in relation to a boy under 12.

Neither child contracted the HIV virus as a result of the offending, which Justice Keane said was "invasive, damaging and, on occasions, extremely degrading".

He said the fact Francis was HIV positive while conducting the offences was an aggravating factor.

The sexual conduct involved games of truth, dare and command which Francis initiated with the two children, the judge said.

Among the activities were getting the children to take their clothes off, perform star jumps and then rub themselves against him while he was naked.

There were also other incidents which Justice Keane said were unusually degrading.

Francis on some occasions then continued his offending with the girl alone - including one incident of rape.

The offending happened between February and May this year, and ended after Francis discovered the children told police.

He then went to police himself and made a full confession, including about some incidents which only came to light during his interview.

Justice Keane said Francis had earlier been sentenced to 15 months behind bars for a single incident in 2005 on a seven-year-old boy which was similar to the truth, dare and command game which today's sentencing covered.

He said Francis expressed remorse on that occasion but his sentence did not allow him to get treatment in prison.

Though the Crown said it viewed remorse expressed about today's offences with scepticism, Justice Keane said Francis did express remorse and some insight into his offending, and a willingness to undertake therapy.

He said pre-sentence reports suggested there was hope Francis could turn his life around with therapy if he had a finite sentence rather than preventive detention.

Justice Keane said the offences warranted a starting point of 13 years imprisonment, with another year then added for his previous offending.

He was then given a discount of 33 percent for pleading guilty at the first opportunity, with a minimum non-parole period of 50 percent then imposed.

"It will be highly important for the parole board when deciding if you can be released that you have undergone therapy successfully," Justice Keane said.

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