Growing New Zealand backlash targets online sex braggarts

WELLINGTON Sat Nov 9, 2013 3:09pm IST

Related Topics

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Anger is growing in New Zealand against a group of teenagers who bragged on Facebook about having sex with drunk, underage girls, with nationwide public protests being planned for next week.

The small South Pacific country has been rocked in the week since disclosure of the activities of a group of 17- and 18-year olds two years ago in Auckland, its biggest city.

The men called themselves the Roast Busters and named the girls involved on Facebook, but have since gone into hiding.

"We do believe there needs to be something done about this, as what they have done is wrong, disgusting and a shame to many people," said Jade Schutte and Ash Hilton, the creators of a Facebook page looking to organise protest marches on November 16 in New Zealand's three main cities.

Police, who say there is not enough evidence for the men to face criminal charges, have drawn much of the anger.

They initially said they had received no complaints, but then conceded to having interviewed a 13-year-old, though without getting enough evidence for court action.

"Prosecuting these matters before the court requires a very high threshold, and we only get one opportunity to get it right," Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said in a statement.

"This means it is absolutely critical for victims that we have the strongest case possible, backed by the appropriate evidence before we can proceed."

Marshall said the parents of some of the women told police they did not want to make complaints, and though some of the men were interviewed, the online boasts would not stand up in court.

But confusion about the police response, and questions about the handling of the probe, have prompted the police minister to seek an independent review of police conduct.

The revelations have sparked a wider debate about sexual violence, with counselling groups urging better sex and relationship education in schools, besides spurring the government to weigh measures to halt cyber bullying.

"It is time victims of the Roast Club got justice and that the system was fixed," said Jessie Hume, an Auckland woman whose online petition drew more than 34,500 signatures from people angered that the men have escaped justice. (Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Taiwan Crash

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gaza Conflict

Gaza Conflict

Gaza bloodshed deepens, airlines shun Israel.  Full Article 

MH17 Shooting Down

MH17 Shooting Down

Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands  Full Article 

Khamenei on Israel

Khamenei on Israel

Iran's supreme leader calls for end to "murderous" Israeli regime  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile  Full Article 

Food Safety Scandal

Food Safety Scandal

Yum cuts ties to owner of China meat plant after scandal  Full Article 

Alleged War Crimes

Alleged War Crimes

U.N. launches probe into alleged Israeli crimes in Gaza  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage