A New Zealand man who was convicted of murdering his Tinder date, British backpacker Grace Millane, also committed violent sex crimes against two other women before her murder, a court has revealed.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned orders banning Jesse Shane Kempson, 28, from being identified as the predator who strangled Millane in December 2018, according to Agence France-Presse.
The orders against reporting Kempson’s name remained in place even after his murder conviction in November 2019, with the court offering no explanation at the time for the highly unusual move.
But on Tuesday, it was revealed that Kempson was still facing two trials for sexual offenses when the Millane verdict was announced — and the court feared that identifying him could prejudice those proceedings, AFP reported.
In the first case, Kempson was convicted of sexual violation, assault and threatening to kill his former partner as he reportedly held a knife to her throat. He was sentenced to 7½ years in prison.
The second resulted in a rape conviction involving another woman that he met on the dating app. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison.
Kempson was sentenced to a total of 11 years behind bars for the sex crimes — to be served concurrently with the sentence of life with a 17-year non-parole period for Millane’s murder.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the “callous, narcissistic” sex offender may have even more victims.
“There could well be other women out there who Grace’s killer may have offended against,” he told TVNZ, according to AFP. “If they’re not sure what to do, come to the police and speak to us.”
Last week, the court rejected Kempson’s appeal against the Millane murder verdict.
Millane vanished on the eve of her 22nd birthday after arriving in Auckland while on a round-the-world trip after she graduated from university.
She had met her killer for the first time on the evening of her death after matching with him on Tinder.
He stuffed her body into a suitcase, drove to the Waitakere Ranges forest and buried her in a shallow grave, where police found it a week later.
During the trial, Kempson’s lawyers claimed she accidentally choked during a sex game gone wrong, but the jury rejected the defense and found him guilty.
The case has prompted British lawmakers to ban the so-called “rough sex defense” in sexual violence cases, with women’s advocates pushing for similar reforms in New Zealand.
With Post wires