Convicted rapist jailed for indecency

A Queenstown man jailed for performing indecent acts after picking up women hitchhiking or waiting for buses is also a convicted rapist.

Antony Mark Smolenski (37), of Fernhill, was arrested on February 21, two days after the last of five incidents in which he exposed his genitals to women while giving them a ride in his van.

Interim name suppression was lifted at his sentencing by Judge Mark Callaghan in the Invercargill District Court earlier this month.

Smolenski was sentenced to nine and a-half years' prison in 2004 for rape and indecent assault. The same year, he was charged with doing an indecent act with a female aged 12 to 16.

Following his arrest in February, Smolenski admitted five charges of doing an indecent act in either Frankton Rd or Fernhill Rd, between February 7 and 19.

On the morning of February 7 he offered a ride to a Japanese woman waiting at a bus stop on Frankton Rd.

When he asked if she had a boyfriend, she noticed he was exposing himself. He then dropped her off near the Queenstown Gardens.

That night he picked up a Brazilian hitchhiker near the Frankton bus shelter, and after asking a series of personal questions, asked for her phone number. As she got out of his van, she could see his penis.

On February 17, he offered a ride to a Columbian woman in Fernhill. On their way into town he turned off the road on to a dirt track and drove into a secluded area.

The victim noticed he was exposing himself, but when she tried to get out of the van, could not open the door. When she told him she needed to go to work, he drove into town while continuing to expose himself.

In two incidents on February 19, he exposed himself to an Indian woman and a Columbian woman after picking them up from bus stops.

Judge Callaghan said a pre-sentence report stated Smolenski denied any sexual intent during the incidents, and posed a high risk of reoffending.

He had an "inability to self-regulate" and lacked remorse.

A report from 2007 described the defendant as the victim of "emotional, physical and sexual abuse from a sibling".

Despite having more than 60 sessions with a psychologist while in prison following his rape conviction, it was "clear you chose not to implement any of the lessons learnt from this offending", the judge said.

Smolenski's counsel, Louise Denton, argued for a home detention sentence that would allow him to undergo counselling with a psychologist.

Judge Callaghan said he viewed the offending as the defendant "preparing to commit a serious sexual offence".

Although it appeared he was attempting to have consensual sex with the women, the indecent acts could only be seen as a "veiled threat".

He was particularly disturbed by the Fernhill incident in which the defendant had driven the victim into a secluded area, but left because of the presence of other vehicles.

It was a "clear indicator to me you were preparing to commit a more serious offence".

He sentenced Smolenski - who is married and father to a newborn child - to 11 and a-half months' prison.

On his release from prison, he must undergo a psychological assessment and complete any treatment as recommended.


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