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Weeping hostel owner's sentencing delayed

Fri 2 Dec 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

An administrative problem has delayed today's scheduled sentencing of a Northland hostel owner who drugged, sexually assaulted and photographed a number of his young male guests. Michael Harris at the time of his arrest Michael Harris, 58, who this morning wept during proceedings according to a Stuff news reporter, had already pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault, stupefaction, attempted stupefaction and making "intimate visual recordings" relating to fourteen male tourists in their late teens and early 20s. The offences primarily occurred between 2011 and 2014 when he was arrested and evidence was uncovered of many more possible cases of offending against other young men. Prosecutions relating to those other alleged victims did not proceed for evidential and consent reasons. Despite an admin error forcing the delay in sentencing the judge in the High Court at Whangarei did allow one of the victims, who had traveled to New Zealand specifically for today's sentencing, to read his victim impact statement to the court. In the dock Harris wept as the statement was read out.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 2nd December 2016 - 11:30am

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