Media Release 27 November 2015
Family First NZ is welcoming the sentencing of teacher Stacey Reriti to more than 10 years in jail for sexually violating and manipulating a 10-year old pupil at her school, but is also calling for rape laws to be updated.
“Parents place great trust in the teachers’ profession and depend on the safety and welfare of their children while in the care of schools for a significant period of their life. This trust needs to be matched by accountability and strong consequences when that trust has been breached, as it grossly was in this case,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“For teachers, this threshold needs to be at the highest level because of their position of trust and the vulnerability of young people.”
“The welfare, protection and moral innocence of our children must be paramount. This sentence sends a strong message that gross breaches of trust will receive the full weight of the law. However, we would question what mitigating circumstances existed which allowed the sentence to be reduced from the prosecutor’s starting point of 14-15 years. This offending was calculated and manipulative,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is calling for rape laws to be updated to remove the gender inequality that exists at the moment, and which prevented the woman being charged with rape. The issue has been raised by previous Justice Minister Judith Collins in 2013.