For the last two years or so, a group of West Auckland teen boys calling themselves the "Roast Busters" have gotten their jollies picking up sometimes-underage girls, feeding them alcohol, and then, once they're too intoxicated to fend off their advances, gang raping them.
Once the act has been completed, the boys posted videos of their exploits to social media in an attempt to name and shame the girls. The boys are privileged sons of law enforcement and an actor who costarred in The Matrix. The girls are too humiliated by their exposure to come forward. And police say they can't do a damn thing about it. In fact, police knew about the group's active and disgusting Facebook page but say they weren't able to have the thing taken down. [bangs head repeatedly on wall]
The Roast Busters (a play on "Ghostbusters" because rapists have very timely, with-it senses of humor, I guess) have been operating known around Auckland for some time, but became more widely known in recent days, when local 3 News reporters began going after the boys hard. On Sunday, the station explained, in detail, what the boys had been up to, and revealed the identity of a few of the club members. One of them, Joseph Levall Parker, is the son of Anthony Ray Parker, who played Dozer on The Matrix, among other recognizable roles. Another is a cop's son (police officials deny this). And all of them are human garbage.
Just to spare you the depressing rapespiral I descended into while looking into this group, here are some choice quotes from the Roast Busters, taken from their now-defunct Facebook page and videos they'd posted to social media.
- 17-year-old Beraiah Hales, when asked on a Formspring-esque social media question asking site what was the best way to get a girl into bed, responded "chloroform." Cool joke bro.
- One of the group's rapists reminiscing tenderly on the first time he and his friends gang raped an unconscious girl: "My first actual roast for the Roast Busters was bad, it was fun, I felt like the man. I thought this is going to go big, everyone is going to know about the Roast Busters."
- When asked to name a saying he uses often, Hales responded, ''Go ahead, Call the cops, They can't un-rape you.''
- More Hales: "It's not rape,. I had sex with one girl who is 13 when i was 16.. She wanted it and thats all that matters"
- A Roast Buster in an online video: "We take what we do seriously, some of you think this is a joke, it's not. You try and get with the amount of girls we do. This is hard, it's a job, we don't do this shit for pleasure."
- A girl who is friendly with the rapists in the rape club: "They are good guys. They can make really dumb decisions but they are being teenagers."
- A group called Roast Busters Appreciation Page: "Appreciating the roast busters, putting bitches in their place since ages ago. Outing the sluts giving them the treatment they deserve. Any sluts keen to get put on the spit or ganged feel free to comment everyone loves a good slut."
- Another girl who is friends with the boys: "People know that they are Roast Busters and they go hang out with them and do stuff [... ] but they're not rapists, they're cool dudes."
- An ex girlfriend of one of the group members: "Of course it wasn't okay! I know that! But the girls that did it gave them consent and even went back for more! The girls always agreed to it."
In New Zealand, it's illegal for anyone to have sexual contact with a person under the age of 16, no matter how much they indicate that they "want it." It's also illegal for anyone to have sexual contact with a person who is incapacitated by alcohol. So, not to shit on a beloved Christmas story, but: if your cool dude friends are having "group sex" with an underage girl who is drunk, then yes, Virginia, it is rape.
Fallout for the boys has been swift, but not satisfying for many parents and Aucklanders and normal humans with a sense of decency. Joseph Levall Parker's family says he left the group a year ago, but after his boss found out about what a terrible person his employee was, Parker lost his job. Parker's dad has released a statement through his agent, claiming the group was a "family matter." Another group member posted a MY BAD facebook status, according to the New Zealand Herald.
"I have not been happy with who I have become and if I suffer any consequences from my past actions then I guess I deserve it but I just want people to know I am a good person at heart and I have matured and have taken this as a massive learning experience."
He also apologised to the young girls who had featured on the Facebook page.
"All the girls that have been effected by this whole ridiculousness I apologize and wish the best for you."
The post was put online by @natekelston154 who wrote that he thought the apology was sincere. But he also said "some girls were idiots tho!!"
"But sluts tho!" should be the motto of rape culture. Oopsie, sorry — "formless bad guys doing bad things," if you believe a letter to the editor that was published just yesterday in the University of Wisconsin student newspaper. Rape culture doesn't exist! I keep forgetting because I keep thinking I see it manifest across multiple cultures and economic categories, but it must be my dumb feminism-addled ladybrain.
And, that's a real cute apology, but that doesn't change the fact that members of the group raped girls and then bragged about it. I really could not care less that a rapist learned some life lessons from his short-lived vocation as a sexual predator and ruiner of girls' lives. Seriously. Not a subatomic particle of fuck is given about this guy's personal journey.
Meanwhile, New Zealand police are like *shrug!* we can't do anything about it because we don't have any evidence! None of the girls victimized by the Roast Busters have filed a formal complaint and so, legally, their hands are tied. Detective Inspector Bruce Scott put it this way: "None of the girls have been brave enough to make formal statements to us so we can take that to a prosecution stage."
The Facebook page the police claim they couldn't have taken down because they needed it up for "tactical reasons", by the way, was removed within hours of 3 News' report. Identifiable victims have been contacted and encouraged to make statements, but so far, no one has been charged.