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Child Sex Offender Skips Country

Press Release

Child Sex Offender Skips Country

The Waikato Times reported today that a convicted child molester facing up to five years in prison for attacks on two young girls has managed to obtain a bogus passport and skip the country ahead of sentencing.

Interpol has been called in to track down Christopher Ian Crause, 47, of Hamilton, who was found guilty at trial of four counts of sexual connection with an underage girl, four of doing indecent acts with an underage girl and two of supplying cannabis to a person under 18, in Hamilton District Court in March.

Alan Bell of ECPAT Child ALERT is disappointed that a child sex offender managed to escape detection. “I realise that when someone uses a false identity it can be very difficult to trace their movements. However it is vitally important that not only are child molesters brought to justice but also that they receive counselling and treatment during their sentence period in an effort to rehabilitate them “says Bell. “ This offender is now loose and able to offend again. The sooner New Zealand has more stringent identification of offenders and can red flag them so that they can be monitored and any restrictions enforced the better. This is not only upholding the law and acting as a deterrent – it is also about protecting other children from becoming potential victims.”

Police believe Crause left the country on a fake New Zealand passport in the name of "Daniel Finnerty" and have charged his wife, Brigitte Daniele Crause, with helping him get it. Police were liaising with Interpol to try to have him extradited.

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Bell says “I have a lot of confidence in the various law enforcement agencies in New Zealand. They do a great job but they need systems and processes that support their efforts one of the aspects that should be strengthened is using modern technology to prevent false identities being used. Although not common this is not the first case of child sex offenders using aliases to escape the law and we must take every step to protect vulnerable children.”

The original offending came in January 2009 when Crause and his wife trawled the NZ Dating website, looking for swingers who wanted to meet up for sex and, after meeting one couple, Crause was introduced to their 15-year-old daughter, shortly afterwards meeting her 14-year-old school friend. The court heard from the victims how he lavished them with gifts, including cannabis, and ultimately engaged in sexual conduct with the girls.

ECPAT Child Alert is a registered charitable trust working to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

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