Jail term for sexual violation at nightclub

A Gisborne nightclub manager has been jailed for six years, nine months for the sexual violation and indecent assault of a 21-year-old employee.

Sessions nightclub manager Ravinder Singh was sentenced on Friday in the Gisborne District Court after being found guilty during a retrial in July.

The jury was unable to reach a decision on a third charge of perverting the course of justice that arose out of an allegation Singh, 35 - an Indian national who is married with three children - had attempted to pay off the victim. The charge was dismissed.

Judge Roy Wade rejected pleas for home detention, saying the offending was too serious. Any remorse now belatedly expressed by Singh was in self-pity, not for the woman, the judge said.

The club's security footage on the night of the offence, coupled with a victim impact statement, were telling evidence of the victim's ordeal.

Singh initially told police no sexual contact occurred but was forced to change his story after DNA evidence linked him to the complainant, the judge said.

Singh then claimed the complainant set out to seduce him on behalf of her uncle, who had a grudge against him.

The offending had caused the woman serious emotional harm, the judge said.

It involved planning and had breached the trust expected of him as the woman's employer.

He had obviously become attracted to the victim, a student working part time. She had asked him if she could download some music from the nightclub computer for an upcoming family event.

Singh's first invitation for her to do so was sent after midnight one evening as a text message; "lappie now available". The woman did not respond but eventually visited the nightclub with her cousin.

That evening, Singh supplied the pair with alcohol. When the victim later went to the toilet, Singh followed and set upon her. He pulled down her top, then pushed her into a cubicle and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

"From first to last she made it obvious that there was no consent. But you carried on, eventually stopping when you thought there was a danger of being interrupted and found out," the judge said.

"You were arrogant enough to believe that you were good looking and that the victim might therefore go along with what you wanted."

In her victim impact statement, the complainant talked of her panic during the attack and how she was conscious that she would be incapable of physically fighting off Singh. Instead she managed to talk her way into him releasing her by saying that her cousin would soon come looking for her.

Her emotional trauma resulted in her being unable to work for several months.

She had given up her studies and was now wary of strangers.

She wanted Singh in custody for as long as possible "to protect other females".

- The Gisborne Herald

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