Vic teacher admits sexually assaulting grieving student
A Victorian teacher has admitted to sexually assaulting her 16-year-old student while he was grieving the death of a close friend.
The 31-year-old woman first pulled the boy aside about a week after the fatal crash because she noticed he was withdrawn.
She gave him her Instagram handle and the pair began messaging online.
It started off friendly but quickly progressed into texts about love and explicit photos of the woman in her underwear.
They met up in private a month later where the teacher told her student she knew it was wrong to see him.
He began sneaking out of his house at night and she would drive them to a nearby forest where they had sex in her car.
Later on, he started going to her house where the sexual abuse continued.
The offending only came to light when their secondary school in Victoria's Gippsland region received two anonymous letters about the inappropriate relationship.
The matter was reported to police and the woman was suspended from teaching at the school.
The boy initially denied any offending had taken place but he later made a full disclosure to police.
He told officers he was worried about the woman, that she had treated him well and he regarded her as a friend.
The woman on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the Victorian County Court to four counts of sexual penetration of a child aged 16 who was under her care or supervision.
Her lawyer Katherine Rolfe told the court the woman accepted the offending was serious, given her role as the boy's teacher and his vulnerable state.
The woman also had a complex diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder which impaired her judgment, Ms Rolfe said.
The former teacher had been involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric ward in recent months because of suicide attempts and ideation, the lawyer said.
Judge John Smallwood said he would not regard the 31-year-old's crimes as predatory although that would be different if the boy was younger.
The judge told the woman she would not receive a lengthy jail term for the offending but a short prison sentence wasn't off the cards.
He ordered her to undergo a community corrections order assessment ahead of her sentencing hearing on Friday.
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