5 Nov 2008

Deportation order on child molester overturned

5:53 pm on 5 November 2008

A Samoan man convicted of three indecent assaults on a child is being allowed to stay in New Zealand.

The Deportation Review Tribunal has overturned a deportation order against William Savali, 26, after being told the victim, aged 12, would be stigmatised in her home village in Samoa if she visited there and his offending became known.

Relatives told the tribunal that villagers may blame the victim, thinking her promiscuous, making it impossible for her to return on holiday.

The tribunal heard she was withdrawn and quiet after the indecent assaults and missed a year of school when she visited Samoa as a result.

Savali, a rugby player and carwash attendant, was convicted in 2005 and jailed for 16 months.

He became a father a year after his conviction.

His partner told the hearing she and their daughter would not join him if he was returned to Samoa.