Woman to be sentenced for having sex with 13-year-old boy

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on February 7, 2011
Justice scales
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A 44-year-old woman who had sex with a 13-year-old boy three times last year has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

She appeared in provincial court in St. John’s Monday for a sentencing hearing but her name and address are banned from publication to protect the victim’s identity.

The boy was a friend of her two sons who often stayed at their house for sleepovers.

She said that between Feb. 1 and May 31 last year, they engaged in sexual behaviour, flirting and kissing.

She said she knew it was inappropriate, but did nothing to discourage it.

They had sex for the first time in mid-March at her house.

The second time, it happened in her car in a parking lot.

It happened again when the woman’s husband took their sons on a trip.

Each time, a condom was used as protection.

Suspicious that the relationship had gone too far, the woman’s husband questioned the boy, but he denied it.

In June, he finally admitted what had been happening. His father contacted a social worker, who called the police.

The woman checked herself into the Waterford Hospital for psychiatric help.

She sent the boy several text messages from there.

On June 23, she turned herself in to the RNC and was taken into custody, but was released the next day after her first court appearance.

When the woman took the stand, she admitted what she did was wrong. She said she had been going through a difficult time in her marriage and felt overwhelmed.

“I know it doesn’t excuse my behaviour,” she said, crying. “I should’ve gotten myself out of that situation. But I wasn’t thinking clearly. I wish I had gotten out of the situation, so I could make a more rational decision.”

She said she realizes how serious her actions were and how badly it affected the boy and her family.

“I felt like a monster for what I had done,” said the woman, who is now separated from her husband and has limited visitation with her sons.

“I realize I still need help and I know to not get myself in that situation again.”

She said she wants to get her life back on track and rebuild her relationship with her sons.

“I’m very sorry for what I did to (the boy). … I’m sorry to have disappointed my family. I hope someday they can forgive me.”

Clinical social worker Alanna Greene spent time with the woman and testified that she was extremely remorseful. She said she is open to further counselling and is likely a low risk to reoffend.

Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett said an appropriate sentence would be three years in jail, due to the serious breach of trust.

He said the victim had been going through a difficult time at school and with drugs, making him more vulnerable than most 13-year-olds.

He noted, as well, that there was more than one incident.

“The sentence needs to reflect society’s abhorrence of this crime,” Hollett said.

“Society is not going to tolerate adults having sex with children. People need to know if you have sex with children, you are going to go to jail, and for a lengthy period.”

Defence lawyer David Power said there is no need to give the woman a federal sentence (more than two years). He said she has expressed genuine remorse and has insight into the seriousness of her behaviour.

He noted she has no prior criminal record and there was no violence or coercion.

“She’s not a sexual predator and there was no luring for means of sexual gratification,” Power said.

He admitted the woman had breached the boy’s trust, but said there was no abuse of trust.

“There is a difference between failing that trust and abusing that trust,” Power said.

He recommended a sentence of less than two years.

He argued the woman can be rehabilitated and a provincial sentence would let her to go through counselling with her family.

“Society’s need to denunciate its distaste and low tolerance for this crime can be satisfied with less than two years (in jail),” Power said.

Judge Colin Flynn will make his decision Tuesday morning.