The Burnie Supreme Court has heard that a female school cleaner abused a 13-year-old student over four months between June and September of 2021. The 28-year-old woman had sexual intercourse with the boy at least seven times, occasionally without protection. She has since pleaded guilty to the offences.
The Court heard that the woman became friends with the boy’s mother in early 2021 and was seen as an “aunt figure”. According to crown prosecutor Claire Flockhart, the woman and the boy would “kiss and cuddle” whenever they spent time together. On another occasion, a 13-year-old friend of the boy caught them performing oral sex in a parked car.
The father of the child found out about the abuse when he looked through his son’s phone and found photos of the two together. He also found notes with dates like when they “held hands for the first time”, “said I love you” and had their “first kiss”.
After the boy’s mother confronted her, the woman created a fake account on Snapchat so they could continue talking. The matter was reported to the police in September and the woman was required to resign from the school.
The court heard that the boy self-harmed when his parents found out about the abuse. He has since changed schools and is receiving psychological support.
The woman’s defence lawyer said the woman was “deeply remorseful” for her actions.
“She accepts she was the adult and he was the child. At the time she felt lonely and depressed. She accepts she should never have allowed the relationship to develop into the way it did,” he said.
“She embraced the sexual part of the relationship but saw it as only part of the relationship. She at the time believed she loved him. She accepts she has ruined her own life.”
The woman faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Further sentencing submissions will be held on the 18th of May 2022.
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Feature Image: ABC News