No announcement yet.

Serial rapist unchecked for 20 years


  • Serial rapist unchecked for 20 years

    A serial rapist went unchecked for more than 20 years in Hamilton despite two police investigations and his martial arts club being warned.

    Stephen Wallace, the owner of Incorporated Martial Arts in Hamilton, was found dead at his home in September after police launched a third investigation into sex abuse claims.

    The police said they could not push the earlier cases to prosecution because of a lack of evidence.But one man who says he was a victim, who does not want to be named, said this isn't good enough."So many adults knew back then and did nothing. Maybe I could have been saved if someone just took a stand," he said.

    "That's two investigations and the club knew. Why didn't the club warn parents? They let my parents believe I was coming to a safe place, but they delivered me to the devil himself."The man, now in his late 20s, has struggled ever since."I'm so angry. I'm always angry. I'm sick of feeling this way."

    The officer in charge of the latest case, Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, said the historic investigations in 1998 and 2002 were "thoroughly investigated" but were not able to be prosecuted.

    "When considering any prosecution, police consider a range of factors in conjunction with the weight of evidence available at the end of an investigation. Direction on this is provided by the Solicitor General through formal guidelines.
    "These guidelines state that prosecution can only be initiated if the evidence which can be adduced in court is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction."

    The Privacy Act and various laws prohibited police from saying anything, but they did discuss their concerns with hierarchy at the martial arts club, Keall said. "Police made a number of recommendations, including the introduction of a code of conduct for instructors."

    Keall said police's main focus is now on the victims and assisting them with getting help. "There remains a duty of care to ensure we identify all the victims and ensure they are afforded the correct care and support. To that end, we are working with our partners at Child Youth and Family, with the martial arts community, a local church and the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust to identify these victims."

    Club trainer and former Incorporated Martial Arts (IMA) club owner Reid Clark said he was made aware of the 1998 allegations by police and only heard second-hand about the investigation in 2002. He was Wallace's employee at both times.

    Clark understood the complaint in 1998 was about inappropriate touching. Wallace had owned the club from 1996 and Clark was brought in to grade the Hamilton students. "The very first one, police rung me about it. At that stage, I was living in Taupo.

    "I asked Steve, what's the story with this, and he explained to me that the kids were wrestling and 'I must have bumped one of the kids by accident.' And I said, 'Oh, okay.' "Clark said he learned about the 2002 investigation second-hand from a club member.

    "The person at the time said, 'What are you going to do?' And I said the police should be involved, and they said, 'Well, they are.' I said, 'Oh, okay, well they should be the ones investigating.'"I heard later on that police had done a big investigation and there was nothing further. Nothing further happened."

    Clark said he couldn't do anything at the time because he didn't own the club and wasn't living in Hamilton. "I couldn't pull him from the club. It was not my club. I didn't own it - he owned it, Steve owned it. I sold it to Steve in 1996. I don't have any say in what they do."

    It wasn't just club members who were aware of the investigations. Wallace's church, Gateway Church in Victoria Street, Hamilton, knew as well. Church pastor Don Barry knew about the 2002 investigation and made efforts to protect church youth at the time, on the off chance there was something to the allegations.

    "The interesting thing is police at that stage were just saying, absolutely no way. 'We know this man. This is not true of him.'
    "They just said absolutely no. 'It's a case of he said, he said ... and we can't investigate that. They said that what we know of this guy, it doesn't seem to be true.' "

    Wallace was at the time training police officers in martial arts at the club. However, Keall denies that had any bearing at all on any investigation. "We can state that there were no officers training in martial arts with the deceased who were involved in the earlier investigations. Any suggestion that these investigations were influenced by the involvement of any police staff with the alleged offender is entirely without foundation."

    Barry said he left the station in 2002 feeling confident that the police investigation was thorough and competent. It was Barry who would blow the lid on Wallace's offending a month ago. A parishioner who practised martial arts at the gym confessed to Barry he had been a victim of Wallace's. Barry went straight to police. The church also held a meeting on Tuesday to encourage other victims to come forward and to provide support services, included a dedicated hotline.

    "This is probably one of the things that has made us more upset ... A complete lack of communication ... in the name of privacy. I think this over concern with political correctness as opposed to kids safety, is political correctness gone mad."

    CREDIT: Stuff
    Attached Files
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • Judge Goddard refuses to answer MPs' questions
      by admin
      The former New Zealand judge who headed a UK inquiry into child sexual abuse has said she will not appear before British MPs to answer questions about her time in charge. Dame Lowell Goddard said for her to be summoned would compromise the inquiry's "independence and integrity". She also hit out at "malicious, defamatory attacks" by the British media and said she was disappointed the government had not defended her. British MPs have asked the former head of the child sex abuse inquiry to expl...
      11-11-2016, 11:47 AM
    • Judge Lowell Goddard's epic fail
      by admin
      Dame Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge who resigned last week as chair of the 100 million (N$183.5m) Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), did not leave her post voluntarily but was effectively fired. Dame Lowell, appointed by then-Home Secretary Theresa May just over a year ago, had already lost the confidence of senior staff and members of the inquiry panel, according to two well-placed legal sources. The Home Office has denied she was sacked, according to reports. After she ...
      09-08-2016, 10:07 AM
    • Sir Ngatata Love's lawyer claims agreement had no impact on Trust
      by admin
      Sir Ngatata Love's lawyer Colin Carruthers QC says the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) theory against his client is wrong, with a key agreement placing no financial cost on the Wellington Tenths Trust. The former leading Treaty of Waitangi negotiator and academic is on trial in the High Court at Wellington, accused of obtaining funds by deception, or alternatively of obtaining a secret commission.The charges relate to allegations that Love showed favour to Auckland property developer Redwood, and ...
      05-08-2016, 01:44 PM
    • Transport boss pleads guilty to corruption charges
      by admin
      The Serious Fraud Office says the guilty plea yesterday by an Auckland Council manager to corruption charges shows the dangers in not questioning a culture of gratuities. Barrie Kenneth James George, 69, this morning at the High Court at Auckland pleaded guilty to two charges of accepting bribes as a public official when he took gifts worth $103,580 between 2005 and 2012. The gifts included cash, and lavish overseas holidays for George and his family. SFO Director, Julie Read welcomed the guilty plea...
      04-08-2016, 09:40 AM
    • Identities of corrupt JP's stay secret
      by admin
      The identities of Justices of the Peace disciplined for incompetence, making false allegations or misusing their title for personal gain are being kept secret by the Ministry of Justice.In the case of the above JP Denis Selwyn Callesen of Keri Keri, the Crown Law Office even halted a private prosecution against Mr Callessen after evidence emerged that Mr Callessen and his former secretary Robin Morris had perverted the course of justice.

      The Ministry believes the privacy of...
      23-07-2016, 11:35 AM
    • Government funded escape artist Philip Smith found guilty
      by admin
      The murderer who embarrassed New Zealand law and border authorities by flying to Brazil while on temporary release from prison has been convicted for the audacious escape. Charges of escaping lawful custody and making a false statement to renew a passport have been added to Phillip John Smith's lengthy criminal record, along with murder, child sex abuse, kidnapping, tax fraud and arson. In an unusual legal procedure, a jury was chosen at the Auckland District Court today and the judge immedia...
      22-07-2016, 01:05 PM