Man pleads guilty to molesting 5-year-old girl but only after she was forced to give evidence

WARNING: Graphic content

When John Ronald Perry was jailed in 2016 for having sex with a 15-year-old, the victim’s mother said he was “definitely a predator”.

This week her words rang true again.

Midway through his Dunedin District Court trial, the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to molesting a 5-year-old girl.

Perry, also known as John Arthur, admitted the charge of sexual conduct with a child but not before forcing the young girl to give evidence.

The conviction represented the man’s second strike under the three-strikes legislation, which will mean he serves the entire 12 months’ imprisonment imposed by Judge Michael Turner.

The victim was interviewed by police in June last year, only days after she told her mother she had been touched.

She described sleeping on a chair in the lounge while Perry lay on the couch beside her.

She awoke to find him touching her in “the private area”, prompting her to flee to her mother’s bed.

The court heard Perry had been to the house about 10 times and would sometimes babysit the children there.

“I don’t like him … and he makes a mess,” the girl said.

In 2016, the court heard at sentencing how Perry had taken advantage of his victim’s emotional fragility.

He comforted the upset 15-year-old by cuddling her but that progressed to sex.

The victim’s mother said it was made all the more traumatising because Perry had met his victim when she was much younger.

“He’s definitely a sexual predator,” she said.

The most recent sex attack was no isolated crime, the Otago Daily Times can now reveal.

That same month, Perry attended a house party, where he met a woman.

He later engaged her in a text-message exchange but when she rebuffed his advances it prompted an extreme response.

Sexual harm – Where to get help
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
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• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.

In July — days after he groped the sleeping child — Perry sent the victim a barrage of abuse, first telling her to commit suicide then threatening her daughter.

“I like little kids can I come and fiddle your kids I’m a kid fiddler,” the defendant wrote.

He continued: “I might just come up with a gun and kill them all like David Gray did down in Aramoana.”

Added to the three counts of intimidation, Perry also chalked up convictions for offering to supply the class B drug Ritalin and the class C opioid Tramadol to various associates.

The defendant initially claimed others had been using his phone but later pleaded guilty to the charges.

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