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New Zealand

Danny Jaz and Roberto Jaz: New Zealand brothers jailed for assaulting 18 women at bar they managed

Two brothers from New Zealand have been sentenced to 16-and-a-half and 17 years in prison for the drugging and sexual assault of at least 18 young women at the restaurant and bar they oversaw in Christchurch.

Brothers Danny Jaz, 40, and Roberto Jaz, 38, were arrested in 2018 as part of Operation Sinatra, a large-scale police investigation in New Zealand. After a two-month trial commencing in February, both were found guilty of multiple crimes, including rape, sex violation, indecent assault and drink spiking.

From 2015 to late 2018, they assaulted a total of 18 individuals at the bar Mama Hooch, owned by their father, and the adjacent Italian restaurant Venuti. Employing a secret WhatsApp group, they strategized targets and often drugged their victims, local media reported.

The elder brother, Danny, managed Mama Hooch’s bar, while Roberto, a chef at Venuti, also assisted at the bar after hours.

According to reports, Danny assaulted 15 women, frequently cornering them in the restrooms of Mama Hooch during late hours. Roberto engaged in sexual assaults on five women, even recording one rape at Venuti.

Upon arrest, the brothers’ father, Michael Jaz, accused the police of corruption, claiming they coerced women into fabricating evidence against his sons.

“The level of your offending is unknown in this country.” said judge Paul Mabey of the Christchurch District Court during sentencing on Thursday, addressing the brothers.

“You helped yourself to young women with callous disregard for their rights and their dignity, their youth.”

He also ruled that they must serve half their sentence before being eligible for parole.

“Neither of you has expressed any remorse, empathy or feelings,” judge Mabey said. “You lied. You minimised. You demonstrated an arrogant belief that you could talk yourself out of anything.”

A collective of women in Christchurch, where the assaults took place, put up full-page advertisements in the city’s newspapers to publish an open letter addressed to the victims of the Jaz brothers.

“Know that your voices have made a profound difference. You stopped future hurt at the hands of these offenders,” it read.

“To all who have reported sexual violence, who have endured lengthy court proceedings, who have withstood the mental repercussions, we are in awe of you.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/new-zealand-danny-roberto-jaz-sexual-assault-b2398633.html Danny Jaz and Roberto Jaz: New Zealand brothers jailed for assaulting 18 women at bar they managed

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