Monday, October 15, 2007


They don't matter apparently. The lives of prostitutes in New Zealand are apparently worth zip to the courts.

Wiremu Haunui, also known as Wilzie Haunui, faces 12 charges relating to the kidnapping and rape of three Auckland prostitutes.

The 30-year-old digger driver is also being investigated for his involvement in about four other rapes between February last year and June this year.

But despite opposition, Haunui was granted bail in June and September when he appeared in Auckland District Court charged with two separate attacks.

And after his last arrest a week ago, he was released again.

His bail conditions did not include a curfew.

The Prostitutes Collective's Auckland manager Annah Pickering said the decisions to grant bail were "really bizarre".

Detective Sergeant Andy King would not comment on a "judicial decision" but confirmed police had opposed bail and asked for a curfew.

The Prostitutes Collective says it will distribute photographs of a man accused of raping sex workers, and give details of the car he drives.

Of course, New Zealand is far from unique in its belittling of the lives of women sex workers.

In Philadelphia recently a man accused of forcing a prostitute at gunpoint to have sex with him and three other men had all the sex charges against him dropped by a judge there.

The Daily News reports Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for - get this - "theft of services."

The prostitute, a 20-year-old single mother, agreed to $150 for an hour of oral and vaginal sex on Sept. 20, according to assistant district attorney Rich DeSipio. The arrangements were made through her posting on Craigslist.

She met the defendant, Dominique Gindraw, 19, at what she thought was his house, but which turned out to be an abandoned property in North Philadelphia.

He asked if she'd have sex with his friend, too, and she agreed for another $100.

The friend showed up without money, a gun was pulled and more men arrived.

When a fifth man arrived and was invited to join, DeSipio said, he asked why the girl was crying - and declined. He helped her get dressed so she could leave.

It's true the prostitute negotiated sex with the defendant - but not unprotected gang sex at gunpoint.

"The Legislature has defined sex by force as rape," said DeSipio, accusing the judge of "rewriting her own laws."

DeSipio said Judge Deni's ruling was based, not on the law, but on moral contempt.

"Certainly if a jury wants to make that judgment, they're entitled to. But for a judge to make a judgment on a human being - I've never seen that before."

A case like this, the judge said to the Daily News reporter, "minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped."

The defendant was charged in an identical incident involving a 23-year-old woman four days later.

Police Detective Jack Ryan, who investigated the incidents, said the victims in the two cases "were in fear for their lives. Since they saw one of the doers really well, it crossed both of their minds that they'd be killed."

Deni's decision to drop the sex charges is " frankly, appalling," he said.
The New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) was formed in 1987 by sex workers as an organisation determined to seek equal rights for sex workers. The New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective advocates for the human rights, health and well-being of all sex workers. The New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective is committed to working for the empowerment of sex workers, so that sex workers may have control over all aspects of their work and lives.

The following is from NZPA (New Zealand).

Prostitutes on alert as alleged rapist bailed

The Prostitutes Collective has urged prostitutes to be vigilant after an east Auckland digger driver accused of being a serial rapist was released from prison on bail.

Wiremu Haunui, 30, was freed by Auckland District Court yesterday despite strong opposition from police.

Haunui was arrested last week for the alleged rape of a woman in the Auckland suburb of Grafton in February last year.

The Prostitutes Collective said today it would distribute photographs of Haunui and give details of the car he drives to their members.

It urged sex workers to be even more vigilant than usual.

Haunui also faced charges of abduction, possessing a knife and theft.

AT the time of his arrest he was on bail on similar charges involving two prostitutes.

The court yesterday imposed strict bail conditions including that Haunui live outside Auckland and regularly report to police.

He will reappear in court again next Monday for a pre-depositions hearing. Last week police appealed to sex workers and others on the fringe of the industry to call if they had been attacked.

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