Minister expects full review after prison escapee charged with raping a woman while on run

The Corrections Minister wants the agency to undertake a “full review” after a prison escapee was charged with raping a woman while on the run.

The prisoner, who currently can’t be identified, appeared in a North Island court via audio-visual link today.

Minister Kelvin Davis said he was aware of the situation and had made clear his expectations that the prisoner escape referred to was unacceptable.

“I expect Corrections to do a full review to make sure the chances of this happening again are greatly reduced.

“Because of the court process, and suppression orders in place, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.”

The escapee, who faces a serious sexual violence charge, is in custody and has been remanded without plea. He will be back in court next month.

Other information surrounding the case, including when and where the alleged crime occurred, can’t be revealed as it could identify the man.

Sexual violence survivor and advocate Louise Nicholas told the Herald that if the charges were proved, Corrections had failed the woman and the community.

“I just hope that she has the support and wellbeing wrapped around her and that anything like counselling is provided for her ASAP. I hope that that is happening now, but not at her expense.”

She said police needed to make sure the survivor had the right support for the upcoming court hearings.

Nicholas also hoped Corrections would undertake an external inquiry into how the escape happened and look into whether people in prison were getting support from staff.

“Is it a staffing issue, is it that our staff aren’t trained enough?”

Sexual harm – Where to get help
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email [email protected]
• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.

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