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Sturm not guilty of stupefying

Fri 21 Nov 2003 In: New Zealand Daily News

Auckland restauranteur Philip David Sturm did not stupefy six young men, the Auckland High Court ruled yesterday, but he still faces sexual violation charges against his alleged victims. Justice Chambers said none of the four complainants were ever in a state of stupor, as he has defined the term. The four complainants allege that they engaged in non-consensual sex because they were under the influence of drugs. "Now the stupefying charges have all gone, the Crown can't establish these young men were ever in a stupor. We're getting closer to reality and truth here,” said defence lawyer Paul Davison QC. But prosecutor Paul Hamlin told the jury in his closing address that Sturm was a sexual predator who knew a cocktail of mind-altering substances, including drugs and alcohol, was needed to bring the men under his control, repeating a pattern of choosing young heterosexual males and building a rapport with them. Mr Hamlin said all four men said they were heterosexual who in their right minds would not have had homosexual sex with Sturm.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 21st November 2003 - 12:00pm

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