Thursday, September 21, 2006


A woman assaulted by a police officer she met through the internet is warning other women to be aware of the risks.

The 33-year-old mother of two was fresh from a violent relationship when she met Constable Andrew Rae from Christchurch through a dating website last year.

But far from the protector she believed he would be, Rae ended up bashing her several times after moving into her house.

He even punched her in the stomach a few days after she had abdominal surgery, and still had stitches. He would also practise his police holds on her tiny body.

Rae quit the force in mid-March, several weeks before being charged over the attacks on her.

He pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court this week to three charges of assaulting the woman.

He was fined nearly $4000 – $500 for each charge, $390 court costs and $2000 reparation to his victim.

The mother is speaking out to warn women to be careful letting men they meet online into their lives. "He was in a caring profession, but he abused that position of trust," said the woman, who does not want to be named.

"He totally controlled my life. He's a predator and unfortunately, these types of men are using the internet to gain access to vulnerable women."

Rae did not want to comment. His lawyer, Jonathan Eaton, said Rae was under extreme pressure at the time of the acts, for reasons explained in court and suppressed by Judge Brian Callaghan.

"The sentencing judge accepted that those pressures had led him to act in a manner that was quite out of character," Eaton said.

Police spokeswoman Maggie Leask said it was inappropriate for the police to comment.

The woman began chatting to Rae through emails in April last year. They swapped phone numbers and agreed to meet. They hit it off in the first week and had a brief sexual relationship.

In May last year he moved into her house as a flatmate for four months but Rae's behaviour quickly changed, said the woman.

"Within a few days of moving in he became very volatile. He started putting me down, saying things like, `you're too skinny'," she said.

"He also started what he called play fighting, but I didn't like it. I was ill and only 47kg at the time."

The woman said Rae would practise his police moves on her. When she resisted his play fighting, he would threaten her. "He said he could charge me with female assaults male and could have my daughter taken off me."

Once when Rae pinned her against the wall, she lashed out and scratched his back, drawing blood.

"He punched me in the stomach with a closed fist and said 'you f... bitch'."

Soon after, Rae handed the woman a yellow Women's Refuge card, telling her she would need it shortly, she said.

"It frightened me because I think he knew that he could be violent towards me in future," she said.

A few days after arriving home from abdominal surgery in August last year, Rae punched her in the stomach without warning.

"He just lashed out. It wasn't an angry punch. We hadn't been arguing. I was standing, he was sitting at the table and he just punched me," she said. "I said 'I've just had surgery' and he just said `sorry'."

The woman said she was scared of reporting the assaults to the police because of his threats and the fear she would not be believed.

But the final straw was when Rae attacked her for accidentally breaking a statue, while her daughter was home.

The daughter told her teacher at school what had happened.

Rae was interviewed and charged by police, initially with five assault-related counts. He pleaded guilty this week to three of them.

The woman said the police needed to improve their psychological screening of recruits.

"His threats and comments like `do you know what they do to cops in prison?' stopped me from calling the police for help," she said.

"Andrew stated that as I had a past, and because he was a police officer, he could do this. No one would believe me. He threatened to have me put under surveillance."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just doing a search on Andrew Rae again to see of he resurfaced. While I haven’t been assaulted it does not surprise me if he does again. I had the experience of building a relationship with him online and being woven into a web of lies that he told not only to me but to others, lies to friends who stuck by him in court cases, the women he hunts and to his current flames. Odd though that my relationship was built over 4/5years. I do wonder if his ex wife Lana (less than one year married) was assaulted in any way as she moved away from him quite quickly to another country?
Anyway interesting guy….