The family of a six year old girl who was
sexually assaulted in a Turangi holiday park last year has released a statement thanking authorities and the New Zealand public for their support.
Raurangi Mark Marino was sentenced to 10 years for rape, seven for grievous bodily harm and two years for burglary in February for his attack on the girl, whose family was visiting from Europe, as she slept in her caravan while her parents used computers at the campground last Christmas. He is serving the sentences concurrently.
Her mother returned to the caravan to find it locked and she could see the attack happening. She ran for help and Marino escaped.
Despite the horrific attack, the family continued their holiday and donated $20,000 to the support agencies that helped them.
Now the family has released a statement thanking New Zealanders for their help and support, saying their daughter is enjoying school in Europe and living a "normal life";
“Christmas time is approaching. It is a time of joyful family gatherings in snowy Europe or at the beach in New Zealand.
However, for us - and some Kiwis - it will also be a time of dreadful memories.
One year after the drama, our daughter is fine. She recovered quickly and enjoys her first year at school, playing happily with her friends. Time passed by quickly and helped us get back to normal life. When her two new teeth finally grow, it will be even easier not to remember.
The memories fade, but we will never forget the incredible support from the hospital staff, police, organisations and most of all the support of individual people in their letters, emails, toys and donations. We will never forget the warmth and hospitality of the families who hosted us through the weeks after.
In these conditions trust in people returns quickly. You Kiwis are just special!
Keep it and cherish your uniqueness.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and relaxing summer holidays!”
New Zealanders donated more than $62,000 to the family following the attack.
3 News / NZN