Article Title:Sturm sentenced to nine years for sex offences
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com News Staff
Published on:19th December 2003 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:2179
Text:Auckland restauranteur Philip Sturm has been sentenced to nine years jail for sex offences against four men. He has also been ordered to pay $10,000 in reparations to the victims. Crown prosecutor Philip Hamlin said psychiatric reports showed Sturm had a "narcissistic personality disorder", denying responsibility and failing to recognise the impact his offending had on the men. Justice Chambers said Sturm had paid a high price for dabbling in recreational drugs. Every detail of his private life had been exposed, he had been "ruined professionally and financially", yet he had not shown true remorse for his offences, and should read the reports prepared about him. The victims in the case, all identifying as heterosexual, testified that they only had sexual relations with Sturm because they were under the influence of drugs, yet Sturm was found not guilty on charges of stupefying with intent, as the judge believed none of the victims were in a state of stupefaction. Some commentators felt that an element of homophobia had affected the verdict in the case, as Sturm was still convicted on charges of sexual violation despite the stupefying charges being dismissed, but these views have angered one gay man writing to Express this week who says he was also a Sturm victim. “I had told him ‘no' in no uncertain terms but he had deemed me vulnerable,” reads the letter. “Like most crimes it comes down to a betrayal of trust. If he has managed to do this with guys who consider themselves straight, I can assure you that there are a lot more gay guys who have had the same treatment. “But like me they wouldn't come forward because being gay makes people think you had a choice.” Sturm will serve a minimum non-parole period of three years. His lawyer, Paul Davison QC, has advised he will be appealing the convictions.    
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