Sex abuse victim tells of ‘toxic shame’ at sentencing

A woman spoke of her feelings of “toxic shame” after being sexually abused as a 16-year-old, before seeing her abuser jailed for six years.

The sentencing of 62-year-old Adrian Raymond Hogben was complicated because of earlier offending and jail sentences, and a 1999 warning about an open-ended preventive detention sentence if he offended again.

In fact, Hogben has not offended again having served a seven-year jail term for a sexual assault on a 15-year-old and then serving eight years released under an extended supervision order.

Because he had been out of prison since 2005, without offending, Crown prosecutor Karyn South did not seek preventive detention at his latest sentencing before Justice Gerald Nation in the High Court at Christchurch.

However, he still denies offending against the 16-year-old in the late 1990s and Justice Nation said he had “a high degree of hostility” towards her.

He denied the charges at a judge-alone trial in November but was found guilty of 10 charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and rape. Justice Nation said some of the offending had involved “premeditation and cunning”, in plying the girl with alcohol and then sexually assaulting her during a trip to Kaikoura.

Other assaults involved her being struck, having a knife held to her, or facing threats to harm her family.

She read her victim impact statement, detailing the descent of her life from the time of the abuse by Hogben. She spoke of the “toxic shock and dirty feelings I had inside” after the abuse which had changed her life forever.

A few months later she began using alcohol and cannabis at a time when she was depressed and lonely. She took up work as a stripper, and then a prostitute, and within a few years was using methamphetamine.

Justice Nation noted that she had had a difficult life, and made choices that got her into bad situations. She has served prison time herself.

“It is easy to accept that low self-esteem as a result of what you did to her has been a major factor in the poor decisions she has made,” the judge told Hogben. “I trust that with the work she is doing, she will be able to move on from being a victim of what occurred, and realise her potential.”

Hogben now has sexual attacks on four girls or young women on his record, including the rape of a 15-year-old he picked up in the street in Christchurch in 1999.

Defence counsel Michael Starling suggested how the judge should approach the sentencing exercise because the latest convictions pre-date his sentencing in 1999.

Justice Nation considered how much additional time would have been imposed if Hogben had been sentenced on all charges together at that time, and decided to impose a six year term.

With Hogben still denying the offending at trial, and in his pre-sentence interview, and the Crown pointing to him having no sense of accountability or victim empathy, he is likely to have to serve all the sentence.