Article Title:Nightmare not over for Sturm
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:5th December 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2155
Text:The Crown Law Office in Wellington has been asked to consider appealing against a High Court judge's decision that resulted in convicted sex offender Philip Sturm being found not guilty on charges of stupefying with intent. 48-year-old Sturm was before the High Court in Auckland in a trial which ended last month. The four male victims in the case testified that they had been under the influence of drugs and would not have consented to the sex otherwise. The Crown alleged that Sturm had stupefied the victims before having sex with them. Sturm said in his defence that the sex was consensual and the victims knew what they were doing. Justice Robert Chambers ruled that the men were not in a state of stupor has he defined the term, and instructed the jury to find Sturm not guilty on the stupefying charges. Curiously however, the jury still found Sturm guilty on ten of twelve sexual violation charges. Auckland Crown prosecutor Philip Hamlin says the issue now at hand involves the legal interpretation of stupefying, which is not defined in legislation. One contributing factor to this is the availability of many modern drugs which were not available when the act was drafted. In the current issue of Express, columnist Samuel Holloway says the apparent contradiction in the verdicts delivered is a result of ingrained attitudes towards homosexuality. “If a young woman had gone to the police and said she'd had an evening out, willingly consumed speed and ecstasy and then had sex with a man, it is hard to imagine a charge ever being laid,” he says. “Sturm may be guilty of poor choices in his sexual partners, he may have supplied drugs to those willing to consume them, but it appears the only sexual violation in the case were against an outraged heterosexuality the morning after the night before."    
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