Melbourne teacher who told boy she was 'willing to risk prison for sex' jailed
A Melbourne teacher who said she was willing to risk jail to have a sexual relationship with her teenage student will be behind bars for at least two years.
The 25-year-old woman began grooming the boy at the school in Melbourne's south east in July 2021, telling him she wanted to be his friend.
They started speaking over Microsoft Teams, with the woman saying she wished the boy was older or she was younger, and that she couldn't believe she was developing feelings for a teenager.
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It quickly escalated into an in-person meeting, with the teacher picking up the boy in the early hours of the morning and driving him to a nearby football oval.
She told the teen she knew she would go to jail if they were caught but she was "willing to risk it if he was".
They had sex in the back of her car that day and continued to do so there and at her house over the next four months.
The teacher also sent hundreds of messages to the boy, most of which included sexually explicit photos and videos.
She also saved explicit photos the boy had sent her.
Police became aware of the offending when the boy's parents found some of the messages on his phone.
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The teacher was arrested in November 2021 and released on bail with a condition not to contact the boy.
She breached her bail conditions and was remanded in custody in February last year.
The woman pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to charges of grooming, sexual penetration of a child under 16 and possessing child abuse material.
Judge Trevor Wraight, who sentenced the woman on Tuesday, described the offending as inherently serious because she breached the trust between a teacher and student.
"It's clear on evidence that the victim was a willing participant in the sexual activity," Judge Wraight said in his sentencing remarks.
Judge Wraight said the teacher groomed the boy for her own sexual desires, although she now expressed genuine remorse for her actions.
He also acknowledged she was a young woman with no prior offences so her prospects of rehabilitation were very strong.
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Judge Wraight accepted she had been abused by former partners, including in the relationship immediately prior to the offending, so she misguidedly sought out her student for comfort.
But the judge disregarded claims the woman's diagnosed depression impacted her judgment, noting there was evidence of planning and she told the victim she knew her action's were criminal.
The woman was jailed for three years and nine months but will be eligible for parole in just under a year after already serving 401 days in custody.
She will be on the sex offenders register for life.
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