A Stokes Valley woman has fled her home fearing for her safety after the man who raped her was freed from prison early because he is dying of cancer.
The man, in his 40s, was released from prison on compassionate grounds to a Naenae house to die of throat cancer.
But the woman he raped over a two-year period – and who had his child – has left her Stokes Valley home and gone into hiding amid claims she has been threatened by the man’s family.
A friend of the victim’s family said the rapist’s family threatened the woman after she told media she was “frightened” by his pending release.
Neither she nor the rapist can be named for legal reasons.
In February the man, who had previous rape convictions from the 1980s, was released from Waikeria Prison to Woburn’s Te Omanga Hospice but returned to prison the next day because he was not as ill as first thought.
This month, with the hospice full, the Parole Board granted him compassionate release to the house in Naenae – the suburb where he repeatedly raped the teenaged victim over two years from 2003.
He has served less than three years of an 18-year prison sentence.
The victim told a Hutt Valley newspaper in February that she was terrified at his release.
Family friend David, who has raised the boy born from the rape, said yesterday that within days of the story being published the woman was harassed by the man’s family. Fearing for her safety, she left her home and the Wellington area, he said.
“It’s no good that [the rapist] should be let out of prison in the first place but then this happens. She was just starting to turn her life around … it’s so unfair, she’s the one getting the raw deal here.”
A Corrections spokesman said the man’s release conditions would be breached only if he personally contacted the victim, or asked someone in his family to do so.
The man was being monitored but there had been no contact with his victim since he was freed on April 15, the spokesman said.