Hamilton On-Line Date Leads to Sex Assault

Source: Stuff.co.nz
Clio Francis

Police have issued a warning over the perils of online dating after an alleged sexual assault in Hamilton over the weekend.

Detective Inspector Greg Nicholls said a 41-year-old man was facing a variety of charges relating to the alleged sexual assault of a woman in her home on Saturday morning.

He would appear in Hamilton District Court this afternoon, he said.

“The offender and victim had connected via the internet sometime last November and had been in subsequent contact since by phone, text and email but had not previously met in person.

“The pair had planned to meet on Friday night, however when that fell through the accused had gone to the victim’s house and sexually assaulted her,” Mr Nicholls said.

He urged people to exercise caution.

“Wherever possible when meeting with someone for the first time meet in a public place, such as a cafe or restaurant and inform someone where you are going and who you are meeting.”

A German tourist made headlines last month after travelling to New Zealand to stay with a Dunedin man she had met on the internet.

The woman, 36, struck up an online friendship with a man she believed was a 33-year-old PhD student from Dunedin in October.

When she arrived on February 8, she realised the unkempt, unemployed 54-year-old had lied about his identity.

She went to his house, where chickens lived inside among cartons and rubbish, and there was no electricity.

When he refused to let her leave the house on her own or take her passport, she contacted a person she had met on her plane, who called police.

The Armed Offender Squad were called while the pair were in Kaikoura, but she was later rescued by police.

The man would not be prosecuted, police said.”