Article Title:Sexuality influenced Sturm verdict, says lawyer
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:23rd November 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2126
Text:Auckland restauranteur Philip Sturm's sexuality and drug-using influenced his guilty verdict on sexual violation charges, said his lawyer Paul Davison QC yesterday. "I think there was a prejudice against this sort of conduct," he said. "We were justifiably optimistic [over the jury's verdict] and very disappointed [with the outcome]. We'll take time to review it when the emotions aren't so strong." Mr Davison said Sturm was upset by the decision and was yet to decide whether to appeal it. Sturm pleaded guilty to charges of drug supply, but not guilty to charges of stupefying with intent and sexual violation of four young men aged between 19 and 24. The complainants, who all identify as heterosexual, said they had engaged in non-consensual sex because they were under the influence of drugs they had been surreptitiously fed, and although the charges of stupefying were dismissed by the court, Sturm was convicted on ten out of twelve sexual violation charges.    
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