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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Officer from Southern District potentially compromised a sexual assault investigation

6 October 2020

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation after an officer made a formal statement which revealed he had shared information in respect of a sexual assault complaint with the person suspected of the assault. The officer was personally acquainted with the suspect and the victim. The three of them were socialising at the suspect's home when the alleged offences happened. The victim later told the officer about the alleged offending, and the officer encouraged her to report the allegations to Police. However, soon afterwards the officer informed the suspect that the victim had made a sexual assault allegation about him.

The Police investigation found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the officer had intended to pervert the course of justice. Police found that the officer showed poor judgement when he discussed the allegation with the suspect and that his actions could have compromised the sexual assault investigation.

The officers' actions were addressed through an employment process which reached an appropriate outcome. The Authority agreed with the Police findings and outcome.

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