1493685650643 - Salesman punished for sex assault during boozy conference at luxury lodge

Salesman punished for sex assault during boozy conference at luxury lodge

A sales manager’s protests that he would lose his job if he was sentenced to home detention for indecent assault had little sway on Judge Glen Marshall.

Barry Andrew Cranch, 53, was sentenced to two months home detention and ordered to pay $3000 in emotional harm reparation when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday, on a single charge of indecent assault.

The Hamilton East man, whose occupation is listed as “manager” in court documents, had been attending a business conference at the Tongariro Lodge, a luxury lodge in Turangi, in June last year.

Also attending was the victim.

At the end of the day’s activities of seminars and workshops, those attending the conference began socialising at the lodge’s bar and later had dinner.

Towards the end of the dinner another of the conference attendees began to feel unwell. Cranch and his victim assisted the ill woman back to her bungalow accommodation – and it was at that point Cranch found out where the victim was staying the night.

Some of the group, including the victim, later retired to Cranch’s room, where they continued drinking.

The victim, however, was tired and soon went to bed.

But at 3.20am she was joined in her room, uninvited, by Cranch who took off all of his clothes and climbed into bed with her.

Although she repeatedly told him “no”, and “stop”, he proceeded to sexually assault her.

After a couple of minutes, the woman managed to get out of the bed, and made it explicitly clear she was not going to have sex with Cranch.

Eventually, she convinced him to leave the room.

The next morning, Cranch apologised to the woman. He told her he had been watching her all day, he was sorry, but he was “horny”.

The woman contacted police, who subsequently charged Cranch. In his explanation to police, Cranch said it had been a long day and he was feeling overwhelmed and he had “the stupid idea he would try it himself”.

In court, Cranch’s counsel Roger Laybourn explained Cranch had been led to believe that another person he knew had recently had sex with the woman, and he took it on himself to make his own advances.

Laybourn also said a probation officer’s report that found Cranch had a “sense of entitlement” and lacked remorse was misleading.

The fact he had plead guilty and had already paid $3000 to the court that could be used for emotional harm reparation reflected his genuine remorse.

Cranch was also willing to take part in a restorative justice conference. His victim, however, did not want to participate in such an encounter.

Laybourn asked for the judge to hold back from imposing a sentence of home detention and instead opt for community detention, because Cranch’s job as a salesman involved a lot of travel and to be restricted to his own house would effectively result in the loss of his job.

Judge Marshall remained unmoved.

“I’m conscious that home detention will affect your employment, but I’m also conscious that your offending impacted greatly on your victim.

“Home detention … is appropriate.”

The maximum penalty for indecent assault is seven years in prison.

 

 

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