19 May 2010

Police need public's help to catch rapist

7:58 pm on 19 May 2010

Police say a convicted sex offender could be anywhere in New Zealand and they need the public's help to catch him.

Maka Renata, 24, has been at large for more than two weeks since leaving a Napier halfway house - although police did not make that public until Friday.

Police say he poses a grave risk to the public because of his violent history, which includes rape and robbery.

Inspector Kevin Kalff says they have no specific information about where Renata might be.

He was living under what is termed intense supervision since he was released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence for two rapes.

It is the second time Renata has breached his release conditions and Inspector Kalff says anyone who is helping to hide him could be prosecuted.

Previous offences

Renata committed his first rape 10 years ago, when he and an uncle dragged a woman into an alleyway in Wellington at knifepoint.

While in prison for that crime, Renata sexually assaulted a 15-year-old cellmate.

In January this year, a breach of his release conditions sparked a national search.

He was arrested in Lower Hutt and then relocated to Napier under intensive supervision.