Petition to send Turangi child rapist back to prison reaches 150,000 signatures

The violent attack happened in December 2011.
The violent attack happened in December 2011. Photo credit: Newshub

A petition calling for a man who violently raped a child to be sent back to prison has now gained over 150,000 signatures.

Raurangi Mark Marino was jailed in 2012 for what the Parole Board called a "particularly horrendous" rape of a five-year-old girl where he used "significant violence".

Marino, who was 16 when he raped her, 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 so violently she lost four teeth and suffered internal injuries. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

But in April 2019, the Parole Board said Marino was no longer an "undue risk" and he was released in July 2019. This was despite his "high" assessment of general and violent offending and his risk of sexual offending as "moderate to high", according to a March 2018 report.

After Marino's release, a petition was launched to keep him "behind bars for life". So far, 150,002 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 says.

"Raurangi Marino should NOT be released back into the community. The Parole Board do NOT have to release him. The Parole Board have CHOSEN to release a man capable of serious violent offending."

Marino's release conditions include being prohibited from taking drugs and alcohol, he can't communicate with any gang associates, and he must attend a monthly sexual offenders relapse prevention group.

The Parole Board told Newshub in October 2019 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 in a statement.

"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."