Truck driver Dion McKenzie acquitted of rape, but guilty of prostitution charges | #tinder | #pof


Dion Lance McKenzie’s name was suppressed until a jury’s verdicts late on Monday in Wellington.

Ross Giblin/Stuff

Dion Lance McKenzie’s name was suppressed until a jury’s verdicts late on Monday in Wellington.

A “sugar daddy” truck driver has been found not guilty of rape but guilty of obtaining sex services by deception and prostitution with women under 18.

A jury of eight men and three women considered the case for over five hours before returning their verdicts late on Monday in the Wellington District Court.

After the jury’s verdicts name suppression ended for Dion Lance McKenzie?, 52.

He was acquitted of raping a 17-year-old Lower Hutt woman who said she consented to sex in August 2018 on condition McKenzie wear a condom but when he ended she was shocked to see he wasn’t wearing a condom.

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In his evidence McKenzie said he did in fact wear one but took it off immediately he had finished.

But he was found guilty of receiving commercial sexual services with the woman who was promised $1500 after McKenzie contacted her on Instagram after seeing her profile on the dating app Tinder.

He was also found guilty of two other charges of receiving commercial sex services from a person under 18, and one of contracting with a person under 18 for commercial sex services. The friends who met McKenzie in his truck on the Petone foreshore in June 2018 were aged 15 and 16.

One changed her mind at the last minute and did not have sex with him, but the other two did.

He was found guilty of obtaining a privilege, service or benefit by deception for promising $1500 to two gay women in Christchurch in January 2018. He watched them making out and then had sex with one of them.

They were aged 20 and 21.

McKenzie was given bail until sentencing in August.

He told Stuff after the verdicts that he never meant to hurt anyone.

McKenzie would contact young women on social media after seeing their profiles on the dating app Tinder, ask if they wanted a ‘’sugar daddy’’ and what they might do for financial reward.

Despite promises of big money – up to $1600 – none were paid.

McKenzie said he began contacting other women when he was away from his home north of Wellington, working for six days a week, and the relationship with his wife deteriorated.

He said he was lonely when he was away from his wife but the four youngest women were in the Hutt Valley, not distant from his home.

The Crown said it was a sex scam and McKenzie did not intend to pay because he could not explain the payments to his wife.

In his final address to the jury McKenzie’s lawyer, Phil Mitchell?, said the services were provided to a “certain extent” but payment was withheld by a dissatisfied customer.

While jurors might disapprove of what he did, McKenzie was in a court of law, not morals.

The jury should be dispassionate and put aside any feelings of antipathy they might have.

But prosecutor Stephanie Bishop said McKenzie had a clear preference for sex without a condom and two other women said he had to be reminded to wear one.

He offered “outlandish” amounts for sex, Bishop said. He paid some women but in October 2017 one of the women found out he had lied to her about not being married, and she contacted a member of his family, who told his wife.

His wife did his business accounts and began looking for suspicious payments.

So McKenzie started meeting women, pretending to pay them online but delaying payment, so it could be cancelled later.

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