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When People Commit ‘Monstrous’ Actions

6 Feb

Unpleasant memories can return in unexpected ways. I was reminded of this recently when, after hearing about the rape of a 5-year old girl by a 16-year old boy in Turangi, the feelings I had when confronted by a 16-year East Timorese boy who had raped a 12-year old East Timorese girl, returned. I was in Timor-Leste carrying out research on the United Nations police and had travelled with the New Zealand police to an outlying district to observe their work. The New Zealand police officer I was with was asked by the East Timorese police to assist them with picking up a 16-year old boy accused (and later convicted) of raping a 12-year old girl.

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