Auckland police are investigating a group of teens who use the name “Roast Busters” and have allegedly been using social media to lure young girls, ply them with drinks, and sexually assault them. They would often name and shame the victims on Facebook and brag about their acts. That page was taken down this weekend, after being live for two years.
Police admitted they've monitored the Roast Busters group page since 2011 but never took action, even though the men—who are believed to be between the ages of 17 and 19—posted the names of alleged victims, who were minors. If you search “Roast Busters” on Facebook, you’ll see fan pages and “confession” pages. The Roast Busters Appreciation page features a profile picture of a woman bound and impaled on a spit. Only after New Zealand’s 3 News contacted Facebook about the page yesterday was it finally removed.
According to 3 News’ report, two of the men involved are allegedly the sons of a well-known New Zealand entertainer and an Auckland cop, which might account for why the police monitored the site for two years without action. One of the men posted an apology on Facebook, stating that he wishes “the best” for the girls who were involved in this “ridiculousness.” Two of the members are currently being interviewed by police, but no one has been charged.
In the last few months, Roast Busters members posted more videos to brag about their exploits and attempt to recruit more men into their club. 3 News included one of these videos in their story, in which two members openly claim girls want to hang out with them and “know” what they do.
Cops are currently stalled in their investigation, however, because none of the victims have publicly come forward with an allegation. One victim, who wished to remain anonymous, told 3 News she blacked out after drinking, and was raped by three men at once. When asked why no action has been taken, Detective Inspector Bruce Scott claimed none of the women have been “brave enough” to come forward yet.
This case is coming at a time when people are seriously baffled as to why girls are afraid of rape and are using it as a punchline on social media. Elsewhere, the anti-Roast Busters page currently has more than 15,000 likes.
The Harmful Communications Bill, which promises to crack down on cyberbullying and online harassment, goes before Parliament today, though it’s unclear what effect it will have on this case.
Screengrab via Graeme Axford/YouTube