Man jailed for sex offences against 13-year-old girl

An Oamaru man was sentenced to his first jail term yesterday for sex crimes against a 13-year-old girl.

Michael John Morunga (33) faced two charges in relation to the incident on August 21 last year; indecent assault and sexual violation by rape.

The Oamaru District Court heard the victim was sleeping on a mattress in the defendant’s lounge that night.

Returning from an evening out, Morunga’s wife went to bed but he remained awake.

He entered the lounge and lay down on the mattress beside the 13-year-old. First, he hugged her. Then, he began rubbing his hands over her body and inside her clothing.

Court documents said the victim was "too scared to move or say anything".

Morunga rolled her on to her back, removed her clothing and raped her for about two minutes. He then put her clothing back on, then his, and left without a word.

The victim suffered bleeding, discomfort and psychological harm.

Morunga was also in court for another unrelated charge of receiving a log splitter stolen a few months earlier.

Judge Joanna Maze said Morunga’s victim was "young and vulnerable" at the time.

Both Crown prosecutor Shawn McManus and the judge acknowledged Morunga had, at times, tried to minimise his crime. There was a letter of apology allegedly written, but that was not confirmed.

Morunga’s childhood was characterised by exposure to violence, often linked with pornography, alcohol and drug abuse, Judge Maze said.

He suffered from mental health issues and was "troubled by the impact and level of frequency of violence [he experienced] from an early age".

The court heard that led to the "normalisation of distorted values".

The judge acknowledged it was Morunga’s first prison sentence, and it would remove him from his wife and two children.

There would be a "significant loss of mana" counsel Michael De Buyzer said.

Morunga was imprisoned for five years and six months.

tina.grumball@odt.co.nz

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