When facing jail time, blame the victim

In yet another case of unusual sentences, an Australian woman received two years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16:

A mother has been jailed for performing sex acts on a 14-year-old schoolboy after she initially spotted him playing football.

The 39-year-old woman, from Victoria, has been sentenced to two years behind bars, with a minimum of 10 months after abusing the boy who went to the same school as her daughter.

The sentencing comes after she pleaded guilty in a Victorian court to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16.

The boy was just 14 years old when the then 36-year-old woman engaged in sex acts with him on two separate occasions at her home.

The Australian government typically does not charge women with counts of sexual penetration. It is uncommon for the women to receive any jail time for sex offenses at all, let alone a minimum 10-month sentence. The woman will also register as a sex offender for life. The article offers no explanation for that, and it does seem odd considering the rest of the woman’s sentence.

Of course, woman could not leave it at that. She initially told police that nothing happened. She later admitted that “something that lasted five seconds can ruin my life forever”. It is unlikely the sex acts lasted for five seconds. That is just the beginning of the woman’s digs at the victim:

‘It’s not just me – he has been part of this as well,’ she said in a record of the interview.

If by “part of it” she meant he was a participant, that is correct in the most technical sense. If she meant that he is to blame, she would be wrong. At 36-years-old, this woman knew it was inappropriate to have any sexual encounter with a 14-year-old boy. She is simply too old to think any differently. Granted, she did argue that due to abuse at the hands of her step-father she suffers from untreated “long-term stress and trauma”.

Fair enough. However, according to her, the abuse lasted from the ages of 10 to 18. She had an additional 18 years to deal with her stress and trauma. One would think a person aware of their own trauma would not inflict that onto others. Her actions had a devastating affect on the boy:

After he was abused, the teenage boy became depressed, underperformed at school, and tried to numb his feelings with alcohol.

His parents did not understand the changes in their son until the offending was exposed.

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and despite having treatment, was still struggling with what happened, his mother said in a victim impact statement.

The judge claimed that the woman’s actions were opportunistic rather than predatory, and that may be the case. I am surprised, however, that she was charged with sexual penetration of minor. Most charges against women are lesser offenses.

I looked up the sexual penetration law, and it is gender neutral. I assume it has been applied to women in the past, but I cannot recall any instances. I checked my posts, and I do not appear to have written about it before. I am unsure what prompted the sudden change for this case. Perhaps the judge and prosecutor took the impact on the boy seriously. Perhaps this woman was rather smug about what she did.

It is at least to good the law can apply to women, even if it is rarely applied.

2 thoughts on “When facing jail time, blame the victim

  1. Australian women are not as adept at playing the victim card as American women. But then, they’re still ahead of the power game than Australian men, which would explain the smirk. Still, while it’s still very small, there’s a growing awareness on the judicial benches of child sex abuse by women as homosexuality and cheap Asian prostitution thins the numbers of sexually interested men. Should expect to see more women charged as times passes, although the sentencing disparity is unlikely to lessen. If anything, punishments for male offenders are becoming more severe for less – probably trying to keep up with the American Joneses.

  2. “Perhaps this woman was rather smug about what she did?”
    It is entirey possible that this could have afected sentencing. Judges do like to see genuine contrition.

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