Warning: This article contains details that may be upsetting.
A serial rapist has been jailed indefinitely for decades of violence against women.
Richard George Apperley appeared in the High Court in Wellington on Thursday following his conviction on multiple charges including sexual violation, assault, and possession and making of objectionable material.
The 39-year-old was sentenced to "preventive detention" - an indeterminate sentence meaning he can be recalled to prison at any time - with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.
- Rapist Wiremu Abraham jailed 15 years after 'harrowing' Kaitaia attack
- 'Two friends I trusted' - Australian woman raped by male friends
- Woman raped and set on fire drags rapist into blaze
A previous conviction for the kidnap and rape of a 15-year-old girl saw him sentenced to more than 10 years in prison in 1998.
After his release he went on to abuse at least three more women, NZME reports.
His victims included a woman he raped in front of her three-year-old son, and a woman he subjected to years of sexual abuse after charming her into giving him her number when she found him in her garden.
Police say there may be more victims in the lower North Island and Tasman District who have yet to come forward.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Haley Ryan has urged anyone with information about Apperley's offending to contact police, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
"I acknowledge just how difficult and painful it can be coming forward when you are a survivor of sexual violence," he said.
"Sexual assault survivors come from all walks of life, and this type of offending can happen to anyone – whether you are someone’s intimate partner, a friend or acquaintance, or an absolute stranger.
"We know survivors do not come forward for a variety of reasons, including fear of judgement from peers, shame, fear of further abuse, and in some cases people do not immediately recognise that they are a victim. However talking about it can be the first step to moving forward."
Det Sen Sergeant Ryan said anyone who makes contact with police will be treated with dignity and respect and their testimony will be held in confidence.
"I would like to take this time to commend the strength and bravery of the women, with the support of their families, who made complaints against this man.
"Without their courage, Apperley would still be in our community today with the opportunity to continue this pattern of offending and hurting others."
Anyone affected by sexual violence or abuse is urged to seek help through the Rape Crisis Line on 0800 883 300 or the National Sexual Harm Helpline on 0800 044 334.