Friday, December 9, 2011

Convicted rapist moves next door to victim in New Zealand


An Invercargill man who moved next door to the woman he raped seven years ago is more likely to reoffend than if he was living on the other side of town, a rape prevention educator says. The convicted rapist, Craig James Crofts, 48, was sentenced to four years' jail in 2004 after admitting raping a woman. He was denied parole on several occasions and served his full sentence before being released, a parole spokeswoman said.

Offenders were usually denied parole if they showed a high risk of reoffending and no remorse for their actions. Crofts' victim is now living in fear after he moved into a house next door. Police say there is nothing they can do. The two residences are so close that, when Crofts is in one part of his block of units, he can see directly into the front window of his victim's flat, which she shares with her partner.

Police have asked Crofts to move out of the area, but they do not have legislative powers to make him move. "It's not OK for any victim of sexual violence to have their offender living next door," Rape Prevention Education director Kim McGregor said. "Closer proximity to previous victims increases the risk."

The woman has an indefinite protection order in place against Crofts, but the order does not specifically say he could not live beside her. "I just don't feel safe knowing he is living there, all I want is for him to move on," she said. "When I see him I feel very shaky and that's how he affects me, it just brings everything back - I hate him living next to me."

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