A TEACHER had sex with a teenage pupil in secret late night meet ups – but she has dodged jail as the judged ruled he wasn’t “harmed”.
31-year-old Monique Ooms entered a guilty plea to four counts of sexually penetrating a child in her charge or care.
After grooming the teen, she acknowledged that they had several sex encounters in the backseat of the car.
She will not, however, serve any time behind bars despite her crimes.
Despite the fact that the boy was “very close to 17,” Judge John Smallwood determined that he had not been “harmed” and made this argument.
Additionally, he claimed that Ooms, an Australian from Maffra, was “fragile”.
Latrobe Valley County Court in Victoria heard testimony about the boy’s sneaky rendezvous with his teacher as the two grew close.
Ooms preyed on the boy who was “vulnerable” due to the loss of a close friend in a car accident.
The student received pictures of Ooms in her underwear from Ooms during their conversation on social media.
She picked up the boy, took him to a remote location where they had sex in her car.
They would also get together at her house.
Text messages exchanged by the two show Ooms asserted that she “fell in love” with the adolescent.
Later, the school principal received two anonymous letters that revealed their relationship.
She initially denied having sex with the boy, who also insisted they were “just friends,” when the police were called.
But after being tricked into sending an admission to a friend via text message, she eventually confessed to police.
“You did actually do it, didn’t ya?”, the friend asked – and she responded “Yeah”.
Oooms was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday – but it was cancelled by Judge Smallwood.
“‘There has clearly been discussion between he and her about the wrongfulness of it. He nevertheless consents and makes that very clear.”
“He being very close to 17 … does that go to in any way, shape or form the objective seriousness of the offending?”
The offence committed by Ooms, according to Judge Smallwood, was not having sex with the boy, but rather the fact that she was his teacher.
The boy’s status as a “minor” was also questioned by him.
Although there isn’t concrete proof of harm, Crown Prosecutor Andrew Moore noted that it is well known that in cases involving sexual offences against minors, harm sometimes doesn’t become apparent for years or even decades.
He testified before the court that the adolescent had refused to talk about the crime with therapists and was eager to move on with his life.
Ooms’ attorney Katherine Rolfe made the case that her client shouldn’t go to jail because she has experienced “public shame” and lost her job.
The boy chose not to participate in the court proceedings, but his mother read out an impact statement in which she expressed her concern for her son’s future.