New Plymouth, New Zealand: Ryan Anthony Shaw, 47, was sentenced in New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 for raping a girl under the age of 12.
Previously Shaw had been incarcerated for an undisclosed amount of time in 1996 for a sexual assault against another young girl.
According to the New Zealand Herald Shaw had previously plead guilty to a single representative charge of rape of a girl under the age of 12 which carried with it a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison.
The abuse began in 2014 and lasted until last year when the girl disclosed the abuse. It was not until November 2021 that she was ready to actually speak with police.
When police spoke with Shaw about the allegations, he allegedly admitted to having sex with the girl and tried to claim that the relationship with consensual.
Information released during the court proceedings revealed that Shaw made the girl watch pornography with him, including sexual acts involving animals, and would rape her three to four times a week over a period of years. He reportedly kept a personal record tracking her mensural cycles.
Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich read a victim impact statement revealing that the girl had been left feeling lonely, depressed and useless.
"I will live with this for the rest of my life and no matter what kind of therapy or counseling I get nothing will change or help me recover from the damage you've done," her statement read. "If I had a superpower, I would erase the time and start all over again with the knowledge I have today so I could save myself."
In arguing for 18 years imprisonment with an increase of 12 months because of a previous offense Marinovich said, "We're talking about a rape occurring in the hundreds. One alone is serious enough in terms of the scale of offending."
Defense attorney Kylie Pascoe argued for a sentence of 16 years with an increase of 6-8 months because of his previous offense, presenting evidence from Shaw's background which included sexual abuse, violence, and a head injury.
"I struggle to see you as genuinely remorseful, quite frankly," Judge Gregory Hikaka told Shaw, who appeared via video feed, during sentencing. According to Stuff, the feed had to be muted part way through the hearing due to Shaw's outbursts interrupting the proceedings.
Hikaka claimed that the abuse Shaw perpetrated against the girl was "significant" and even "the most dreadful fashion imaginable" but ultimately sided with the defense as a starting point for the sentence, using the increase of 12 months recommended by the prosecution.
While beginning with a sentence of 17 years total, the sentence became merely 12 following a discount for pleading guilty and a reduction for personal circumstances. He will only be required to serve at least six years before the possibility of release.