Staffer’s ‘excitement’ at sex with school boys
A STUDENT aide who had sex with five private schoolboys at an elite boys college had engaged in intercourse with the 15 to 17-year-olds with "enthusiastic participation" and a degree of "excitement", a court has heard.
The now 25-year-old woman, who has already spent 14 and a half months in prison, broke down in the dock as NSW District Court Judge Christopher Armitage made the remarks at her sentencing hearing.
The young woman's mother earlier told the court she blamed the exclusive boys college, The Armidale School for her daughter's actions.
The mother broke down in the NSW District Court in Sydney at which parents of the boys her daughter had sex with were present.
Asked by Crown Prosecutor Max Pincott about regret over her daughter's offences, the mother said "my greatest and deepest regret is the trust we placed in The Armidale School and its failure as her employer to supply duty of care and support to a junior unqualified member of staff."
The mother apologised for "the grief" of the families of the schoolboys her daughter had slept with in her staff accommodation room at the TAS boarding house in Armidale in northern NSW.
But asked if she understood the extent of that grief, the mother said, "I haven't spoken with them".
Under questioning from Judge Armitage, she agreed that her daughter "bears the major share of the responsibility" for the sexual acts which took place in late 2014 and early 2015 with boys aged between 15 and 17 years old.
The offender pleaded guilty in April to six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care, and three counts of aggravated sexual intercourse.
The woman's mother told the court her daughter, who was the subject of text message between the boys, including "you rooting that fat sl*t tonight" had low self esteem following a massive weight gain as a teenager.
The mother said her daughter had become "emotionally unstable" aged 15 and her weight ballooned to about 125kg.
"She struggled with relationships with the opposite sex. She would tend to be drawn to people who would manipulate her."
The young woman, who was 22 years old at the time she had sex with the boys at TAS, wept in the dock as she heard her mother's submissions.
Wearing a black dress and grey jacket, her long hair drawn up in a bun on her head, the offender cried silently, went red in the face and clutched a gold chain around her neck.
The court heard the woman went to work at the TAS school in 2012 and the following year moved into a room in the boarding school, looking after boys aged between 12 and 18 years old.
At a hearing last week, some of the thousands of text messages exchanged between the woman and the schoolboys were read out.
One student texted a staff member saying he wanted to put the woman "on the spit".
The woman texted the boys about her concerns she could lose her job or go to jail if she was found out, Fairfax reported.
The schoolboys' texted responses included, "haha sl*t", "I'm saying I got raped" and "f**k the c**t, we'll all say that".
Judge Armitage heard that the woman had texted a boy, "I can't wait to cuddle you tonight".
She exchanged a Facebook message with another pupil who talked about taking part in "somersaults", which meant sex.
The offender's defence barrister, Greg Heathcote, has argued she was forced into having sex with the boys by bullying, extortion and by blackmail via text messages.
The woman was working as a duty staff member, class coach and had responsibility 24/7 over the boys, Mr Heathcote told the court.
The identity of the school where the sexual intercourse between the schoolboys and the woman took place was only revealed after Judge Armitage lifted a non-publication order "in the interests of open justice".
The name of the woman offender and the boys however remain suppressed.
The woman's mother admitted her daughter had committed "errors of judgment", but said her daughter had suffered "crippling anxiety" and had undergone a pregnancy termination prior to having engaged in sex with the schoolboys.
She said her daughter's weight gain had been "immensely detrimental to her self esteem".
In one text message exchange, in February 2015, one of the adolescent boys wrote, "I promise I won't say anything, all the boys think you are as nice as f**k."
The woman responded, "oh great, thank you, i shouldn't put this on you, it's a bit hectic."
The woman apologised to the victims and expressed her remorse to the court.
"The situation got out of hand and I didn't deal with it in a way I should've," she said.
But Judge Armitage told the court the text messages suggested "far more enthusiastic participation" in sex with the boys that she had claimed in her evidence.
The court heard there had been a degree of "excitement" in the actions.
Crown prosecutor Max Pincott argued that the woman's claim she was under duress to have sex with the boys was untrue.
Judge Armitage gave the woman a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Her offences, which included three counts of having sex with a 15-year-old who was under her authority as the school's house mistress, carried a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.
She was also guilty of three counts each of having sex with a 16 year old and a 17-year-old under special care.
Judge Armitage said the woman had already suffered psychological distress while on remand in prison where fellow inmates called her a "kiddie fiddler".