NZ rapist who kept daughter as sex slave for 23 years to be released despite concerns

One of New Zealand’s most prolific rapists is set to be released from prison despite a Parole Board finding that he remains 'an undue risk to community safety'.

Ronald Van Der Plaat, now 82, kept his daughter as a sex slave for 23 years when she was aged between nine and 32.

He was sent to prison for 14 years in 2000 for the horrific abuse, which included putting her head in a padlocked box while he raped her, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Mr Van der Plaat must be released on his statutory release date of May 11, 2016.

However, in a parole decision released on Tuesday, the New Zealand Parole Board has declined a request for his release before that date.

A younger Ronald Van der Plaat.
A younger Ronald Van der Plaat.

The board noted that the most recent psychological assessment of Mr Van der Plaat found he had “a medium-high risk of sexual reoffending”.

That, coupled with “the fact that he has remained in denial and therefore has not obtained any treatment in relation to that offending” meant that he remained “an undue risk to the safety of the community,” the board found.

Mr Van der Plaat’s daughter, Tanjas Darke, waived her right to anonymity and wrote a book detailing the depraved and horrific assaults carried out on her by her father.

She was also the subject of a television documentary, To Hell and Back, in which she detailed a life of physical and psychological bondage, rape, sexual violence and indecent assault.

By the time she was 12 years old, Ms Darke had been treated for a number of sexually transmitted diseases.

Tanjas Darke wrote about her life of abuse in Flight of the Dancing Bird.
Tanjas Darke wrote about her life of abuse in Flight of the Dancing Bird.

Incest fear: Living in fear after my dad's release

"It happened so quick I didn't even have time to turn around and wave goodbye to my childhood," she said.

Mr Van der Plaat was released in 2010 but was jailed again in 2012 after committing further offences, the New Zealand Herald reported.

He had reportedly been seen at Auckland Museum holding the hand of an Asian girl thought to be about five.

In its most recent parole decision, the board said: “The psychological report says that the most likely target for Mr Van der Plaat will be vulnerable solo mothers, most likely non- European immigrants, and that he will groom their trust through offering financial, material, practical and emotional support.

“Future victims are likely to be their female children with Mr Van der Plaat assuming some form of caregiver role,” the board said.

While he will be subject to GPS monitoring, the community probation service told the parole hearing that this would assist in determining where Mr Van der Plaat was spending his time but it would not indicate who he was spending time with.

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