Prominent journalism academic Grant Hannis sentenced for indecent assault of 82-year-old

Prominent journalism academic Grant Hannis sentenced for indecent assault of 82-year-old
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A prominent academic who was sentenced in Wellington on Friday for indecently assaulting an elderly woman can now be named.

Journalism academic and former university lecturer, Grant Hannis, was sentenced in the Wellington District Court on Friday to eight months of home detention and 100 hours of community work, as well as being ordered to pay $3000 in emotional harm reparations.

He was convicted of indecent assault after being found inappropriately touching and kissing a 82-year-old woman with dementia in a rest home in May 2018, reports NZME.

Despite the woman trying to push him away and at one stage a caregiver walking in before leaving to alert a manager, Hannis refused to stop. He also exposed himself to the woman before pulling down her pants and underwear.

At the sentencing, Hannis lost name suppression for what was described as "unbelievable offending" by Judge Stephen Harrop, reports NZME.

Judge Harrop considered Hannis' previous good character, contribution to the community, remorse, and the decision to life name suppression in his sentencing.

"There ought to be a discount to recognise the effect of publication on you as a form of penalty," he said according to NZME.

Hannis had originally claimed the offending was just an intimate moment between friends but later plead guilty.

On Friday, the victim's daughter said the assault had drastically affected her mother.

"Her bright, sparking eyes were now dull and sadness enveloped her body. I held her while she sobbed time and time again. We talked and hugged and cried.

"What the hell were you thinking? She's 82 years old - is that ok with you? How could you contemplate that?," she said reports RNZ.

Hannis read a statement in the court apologising to the victim and her family and saying he had been mentally unwell at the time.

On Saturday, police acknowledged the sentence and said their thoughts were with the elderly woman.


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