Hike sentence

Protests held after teenage rapist Jayden Meyer’s house arrest sentence

Young people have staged protests in some North Island towns against the justice system, following the sentencing to house arrest of teenage rapist Jayden Meyer. Photo / Greg Bowker

DISCLAIMER: This story details sexual violence.

Growing anger over the house arrest sentence handed down to a teenage rapist sparked several public protests tomorrow – and won support from a social media influencer.

The protests, which are planned in several North Island towns, come after Jayden Desmond Meyer was sentenced to 9 months house arrest for the rape of four 15-year-old girls and the sexual assault of a fifth teenager.

A post by Tauranga barber Spencer McNeil on Instagram criticizing the sentence after it was revealed by Open Justice on Tuesday has received more than 80,000 likes.

McNeil has now organized a march down the main street of Mount Maunganui, with New Zealand influencer Jazz Thornton lending her support to the protest.

Other protests were organized by young people in Hamilton, Gisborne and Whanganui. All should take place on Thursday afternoon.

“This is a peaceful protest. We won’t block roads, we won’t encroach on people’s businesses,” McNeil said on his page.

Thornton, a Dancing with the Stars champion and mental health advocate, opened up about her anger over what the girls went through on her Instagram page.

“All I feel right now is anger and sadness. The anger that these four girls not only experienced a horrific and life changing event with lasting impacts, but also that they had been brave enough to go through the legal process only to be met with this.”

UFC fighter Israel Adesanya has also shown his support for the protests.

According to district court documents obtained by Open Justice, all five victims were 15 years old at the time of the attacks. Meyer was 16 years old.

In one instance, the sex was initially consensual, but Meyer raped the girl when she refused to be with him a second time that night. On another occasion, he filmed the non-consenting rape of another girl. A third rape occurred while his victim was sleeping in his bed.

In the most graphic of attacks, Meyer raped an inebriated teenager in a bush after being at a party. The judge’s sentencing decision details how this victim, who was a virgin, “protested in vain”.

Meyer, who has no criminal history, pleaded not guilty to all charges but was later found guilty.

A psychologist, who saw Meyer 30 times during the prosecution, found he was at medium risk of reoffending and continues to downplay the effect of his crimes.

Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett and Meyer’s lawyer Rachael Adams argued that house arrest would be the most appropriate sentence – although the Crown accepts that jail is the ordinary sentence for this type of attack. offense; “and indeed one of many years”.

Judge Harding agreed, saying a typical jail sentence for this level of offense is “undoubtedly correct”.

The written sentencing decision does not specify how Judge Harding came to the conclusion that house arrest would be the most appropriate sentence.

“I accept the probation report and the attorney’s submissions that house arrest on all charges is the appropriate outcome,” Harding’s decision reads.

Open Justice has requested further court documents detailing how the sentence was handed down.

Meyer, who now lives in north Auckland, was sentenced to nine months house arrest and a further 12 months of post-release conditions, including a ban on associating with anyone under the age of 16 and participate in a sexual violence prevention program.

The charge comes after an Auckland teenager pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault against five victims between 2017 and 2020.

He was sentenced in April to 12 months of house arrest and an additional 12 months of supervision. Judge Claire Ryan handed down the sentence after hearing expert advice that sending the teenager to prison would allow him to learn from more experienced sex offenders.

The teen’s name is currently suppressed pending the outcome of a name suppression call.

WHERE TO GET HELP:
New Zealand Police
Support for victims 0800 842 846
rape crisis 0800 88 33 00
Rape prevention education
Empowerment Trust
TO HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 – 0
Safe to speak: a confidential 24/7 helpline for survivors, support persons and people with harmful sexual behaviour: 0800044334.
Mosaic – Tiaki Tangata Peer support for men who have experienced trauma and sexual abuse: 0800 94 22 94

If it is an emergency and you think you or someone else is in danger, call 111.