Prominent NZ entertainer gets permanent name suppression

Prominent NZ entertainer gets permanent name suppression

A prominent New Zealand musician who made lewd comments to two young girls before pulling the head of a 16 year-old towards his penis has been given permanent name suppression and discharged without conviction.

The man had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of committing an indecent act likely to offend.

Judge Eddie Paul made the ruling to keep the man's name secret forever at the Auckland District Court this afternoon.

The incident happened after a concert in Wellington in March.

At 3.30am the musician was on his way to his hotel when he was recognised by a group of young women.

Judge Paul said two of the women asked to kiss his cheek and the man let them before leading them up an alleyway, pulling out his penis, and telling them to "kiss my balls".

Judge Paul said the young women ignored the comment but a friend of theirs, who also walked up the alley, was grabbed by the man and had her head pulled towards his penis.

"She felt his penis on the left side of her face, connecting with her cheek," Judge Paul said.

He said the man let the girl go and she left the alleyway but could hear him laughing.

Judge Paul said the offending was "medium to low-level" and had to be balanced against the consequences the man would face if he was convicted and named.

He said several high-profile music industry leaders had written him letters to vouch for the man's character.

Judge Paul said there was also evidence that shows if the man was convicted and named, it would have a "detrimental affect" on his record sales and his ability to travel overseas for performances.

He said there was a low risk of reoffending and the man had no previous record.

Judge Paul said the man had also offered the victim $5000 in compensation for emotional harm.

Besides the $5000 payment to the victim, the man was also ordered the man to pay $130 in court costs.

The man's lawyer, Ron Mansfield told the court last Wednesday that the man had "read the occasion that was occurring".

Mr Mansfield said the man had been drinking and had no recollection of what happened the next day.

He said his client was ashamed of what he had done.

"He has been trying to rationalise in his mind how this could have occurred to ensure it does not ever happen again," Mr Mansfield said.

He said the man has also addressed his attitude to alcohol.

"He has let down his family, friends, the New Zealand public and his fans," Mr Mansfield said.

William Akel represented the New Zealand Herald, Fairfax, TVNZ and TV3.

He argued that the naming of the man would not affect his career if he is discharged without conviction.

Mr Akel argued that if there was a "total shut down of the court", it would appear that the man was being treated differently because of his prominence.

"Is there in fact some special consideration being given because this is a prominent person?"

Mr Akel said it would be far better for the court to name the man so that young fans could learn a lesson from the proceedings.

The police took a neutral stance on the suppression of the man's name.

NZ Herald, Edward Gay