Man avoids conviction after making intimate video despite being told not to

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A Queenstown man who made an intimate video recording of a Queenstown sex worker without her consent has been released without conviction.

The man, whose name was permanently deleted during a hearing in Queenstown District Court yesterday, visited the sex worker at her home on March 9 after making an appointment the day before.

When he asked the victim if he could film her with his phone, she said no.

He persisted in saying he would not include her face in the video, but she repeated that she had not consented to be filmed.

After having sex, the still naked victim went to the kitchen to bring the accused a glass of water.

When she returned to the bedroom, she noticed that he had set up his phone on a bench at the end of the bed, the camera pointing towards the bed.

She picked up the phone, saw it was recording and challenged the defendant, who admitted he had started filming.

The video was immediately deleted.

Attorney Ben Alexander said the offense was spontaneous and “simple”.

The accused immediately admitted his guilt, agreed to participate in restorative justice, wrote a letter of apology to the victim and made donations to three charities totaling $500.

The defendant was living in New Zealand on a post-study work visa, and a conviction would have significant implications for his immigration status and ability to obtain future visas, Mr Alexander said.

His job and future employment prospects would also be compromised, impacting his extended family in his home country to whom he paid $2,500 a month.

Judge Russell Walker said the man’s behavior was a breach of trust and an ‘affront to privacy’, but accepted Mr Alexander’s arguments that the defendant was a fundamentally honest man for whom the accusation was a “huge red flag”.

He had no previous convictions in New Zealand or his home country.

A conviction would mean the defendant would need a character waiver for all future visa applications and could potentially lead to his deportation.

He granted discharge without conviction and ordered the defendant to pay the victim $1,000 compensation for emotional harm.

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