Man jailed for sex­ual vi­o­la­tion

Waikato Times - - NEWS - LIBBY WIL­SON

A sex­ual vi­o­la­tion that a man ini­tially de­scribed as get­ting ‘‘a bit handsy’’ has landed him in jail.

Stan­ley Kyle Yeat­man, 27, sent a text soon af­ter the act say­ing: ‘‘I think I f..... up roy­ally … I think I got a bit handsy and up­set [the vic­tim].’’

He’d fol­lowed the woman and her friend into bed, with­out ask­ing or be­ing asked, af­ter walk­ing them home from a party at his Hamil­ton home.

Later, he took a photo of the sleep­ing vic­tim on his cell­phone and she woke up to him touch­ing her gen­i­tals.

Yeat­man ap­peared in Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day and was sen­tenced to 20 months in jail for sex­ual vi­o­la­tion and to three months for mak­ing an in­ti­mate vis­ual record­ing.

He and his vic­tim met for the first time at the party in Jan­uary 2016, but had lit­tle to do with each other that evening or on the walk home.

When they went to bed, both were fully clothed, they were on dif­fer­ent sides of the cov­ers, and the vic­tim fell asleep be­tween her friend and Yeat­man.

The friend left the room some­time be­fore 2.30am, when the vic­tim woke up to Yeat­man touch­ing her in­ti­mately.

She pre­tended to be asleep in the hope he’d stop, the sum­mary of facts says, but he grabbed her breast and she pushed his hand away and moved.

With­out her knowl­edge, he’d also used his phone to take a photo of her legs and bot­tom – cov­ered only in un­der­wear.

Once the vic­tim heard a zip, she plucked up the courage to leave the room and find her friend, the sum­mary says.

Yeat­man left im­me­di­ately, but texted the other friend shortly af­ter.

‘‘From the mo­ment he com­mit­ted this of­fend­ing, he knew he had done some­thing wrong, be­cause he sent that text,’’ Crown prose­cu­tor Dun­can McWil­liam said in court.

Charges were laid in Fe­bru­ary 2017, Yeat­man re­jected a sen­tence in­di­ca­tion in April 2017 and en­tered his guilty pleas in July.

That de­lay was hard on the vic­tim, McWil­liam said, re­fer­ring to her vic­tim im­pact state­ment: ‘‘I just want this to be over so I can put it be­hind me.’’

The as­sault af­fected her sleep pat­terns, work and study, he said, and she de­scribed feel­ing empty, alone and bro­ken.

Yeat­man was ini­tially ashamed to tell his fam­ily what he’d done, which meant he didn’t have sup­port, de­fence lawyer Thomas Sut­cliffe said.

Once he had to tell them, ‘‘com­mon sense came into play’’, lead­ing to his guilty plea.

Yeat­man had been pet­ri­fied about the idea of go­ing to prison, Sut­cliffe said, and pushed for a sen­tence of home de­ten­tion.

‘‘He deeply re­grets the de­ci­sions he made and he’s come to ac­cept that he’s en­tirely re­spon­si­ble for his own ac­tions.

‘‘This is some­thing which [mem­bers of his fam­ily] never dreamed he was ca­pa­ble of do­ing.’’

Yeat­man could pay $3000 im­me­di­ately as emo­tional harm repa­ra­tion to his vic­tim, Sut­cliffe said.

Judge Glen Mar­shall used a start­ing point of two years and nine months in sen­tenc­ing Yeat­man for ‘‘the gross lack of judg­ment on your part that evening’’.

Yeat­man got cred­its for good char­ac­ter ‘‘other than what oc­curred this night’’, his of­fer of repa­ra­tion, and plead­ing guilty within six months of charges be­ing laid.

How­ever, Mar­shall didn’t think Yeat­man had done enough to avoid a prison sen­tence, which is pre­sumed for sex­ual vi­o­la­tion cases.

The end sen­tence was 20 months in prison on the sex­ual vi­o­la­tion by un­law­ful con­nec­tion charge, and Mar­shall or­dered Yeat­man to pay the $3000 repa­ra­tion.

The three-month sen­tence for mak­ing an in­ti­mate vis­ual record­ing will be served con­cur­rently.

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