The secret video story

The Dom Post reported yesterday:

A man who secretly filmed himself having sex with a woman used the recording to clear himself of rape suspicions.

Then police prosecuted him for making the film.

Haimona Kenneth Gardiner, 25, was charged with intentionally making an intimate visual recording of another person on May 21, court documents show. He works as a private secretary in Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia’s ministerial office at Parliament.

Although the maximum penalty for the offence is three years in jail, he completed diversion and the charge was withdrawn in Wellington District Court last month.

It is understood police began an investigation after a member of the public found a woman wandering along The Terrace one morning in May.

The woman, aged in her 40s, claims to have little memory of the night before but officers traced her back to Gardiner’s nearby home.

It is understood he argued they had met at a central Wellington bar the night before and the sex had been consensual – and as proof he handed over the recording.

Police viewed the tape and, on the basis of that evidence, decided against laying more serious charges.

I’ve had conflicting thoughts on this story. In rough order of occurrence they were:

  1. Thank God he had taped the encounter, otherwise he might be facing an eight year sentence for rape.
  2. Oh yuck what sort of person secretly tapes sex sessions, without consent from the partner.
  3. Is taping sex sessions a good idea, to protect you from false rape allegations?
  4. Possibly, but you should get consent regardless from the other party.
  5. The Police probably got it about right, by charging him but agreeing to diversion.
  6. Does Haimoana routinely pick up strangers in bars, have sex with them, and secretly film them?
  7. If so why, if not why so on this occasion?
  8. Should the act of secret filming be the offence, or should it be the act of using the secret film for a bad purpose? Is there a difference between making a secret film to defend yourself from a false rape allegation and making a secret film to humiliate the other party or blackmail them etc?
  9. Nope, the act should be the offence. There is never a valid reason to film sex without consent from all parties.
  10. But wait, what if you are being raped by someone in a position of authority over you. Is filming them to prove they are a rapist then okay?
  11. Yeah I’d say so.
  12. But not okay to film someone to prove you are not a rapist.
  13. Hmmn it does get complicated, but at the end still not okay as in the other scenario you are filming an actual crime, rather than a potential defence which is highly unlikely to ever be needed.

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