Support grows for man who raped 5yo in Turangi to go back to jail following early release

The brutal attack in 2011 saw Marino receive a 10-year sentence. He has only served 7 years.
The brutal attack in 2011 saw Marino receive a 10-year sentence. He has only served 7 years. Photo credit: Newshub

A petition is gaining widespread support for the man who violently raped a five-year-old girl to be sent back to prison.

Raurangi Mark Marino was jailed in 2012 for his crime that the Parole Board called a "particularly horrendous" rape of a young child involving "significant violence". It now says he is no longer an "undue risk" and he has been released back into the community.

But this decision has sparked outrage amongst Kiwis, with support growing for a petition to send him back behind bars.

Marino, who was 16 at the time, was drunk and high when he came across the child in an unlocked caravan at a Turangi campground in December 2011.

He then beat her, choked her unconscious and raped her with such violence she lost four teeth and suffered internal injuries. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In a March 2018 report, Marino's risk of "general and violent offending" was assessed as high while his risk of sexual offending was moderate to high.

Marino, who is now 23, was released in July by the Parole Board after completing a sex offender treatment programme, a drug treatment programme and strengthening his release plan.

The Parole Board says his conditions of parole are onerous, and Marino will be called back for a February 2020 monitoring meeting.

However, a petition has been launched to keep Marino "behind bars for life". So far, over 66,000 people have signed it.

"Why should a convicted violent offender, who chose to brutally rape an innocent five-year-old child be given the right, the privilege of early release? Why does Marino deserve his freedom when he stole everything from an innocent victim and her family?" the petition asks.

"The Parole Board have CHOSEN to release a man capable of serious violent offending. A brutal rapist who in 12 months went from high risk to an undue risk.

"Yes he has 'special conditions of release' but who will be diligently monitoring Marino and the choices he makes? Who will be responsible for the safety of our community?"

In a statement on Friday, the Parole Board told Newshub that public safety is the "paramount consideration" in every decision.

"We have parole as a proven way to reduce reoffending, by closely supervising an offender's reintegration to society, rather than releasing them at the end of their sentence when oversight is no longer legally possible," a spokesperson said.

"Day-to-day, probation officers from Community Corrections ensure those on parole comply with the conditions set by the Board. A person on parole can be recalled to prison if undue risk is identified, or there is a breach of conditions. There has been no recall application received or approved by the Board in this case."