A woman who had three children with a 13-year-old boy over a five-year-long relationship will not serve any jail time.
The relationship started in 2004 when the Australian woman was 22 years old and the boy was 13. Over the course of five years, the woman gave birth to three of the teenager’s children, and the two even lived together for some time. The two were neighbors when the relationship started, and after breaking up in 2009, the boy eventually reported it to the police two years later.
“Normally offending of this seriousness would warrant a significant jail sentence,” said Victorian County Court Judge Christopher O’Neill. “[But] there is a discretion to the court to grant special mercy where the circumstances of family hardship are exceptional. I accept that almost every waking moment is spent looking after the children in one way or another.”
Testimony revealed that the woman gave the young boy drugs and alcohol throughout their relationship, but Judge O’Neill said in court that because of the woman’s extremely low IQ, he could not characterize those actions as “predatory behavior.” The woman was noted to have an IQ of 64 and the cognitive abilities of a teenager.
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“Rather, you were simply attempting to endear yourself to [the boy] as you felt genuine affection towards someone with whom you could relate,” said Judge O’Neill of the woman’s actions.
The unidentified boy, who now is 23 years old, became a father for the first time at 15, again at 16, and for the last time at 18. Judge O’Neill said in court that the woman, now 32, has two other children from her current marriage and acknowledged that she and her husband have spent all of their time raising the five children, one of whom has special needs.
Although the woman escaped jail time, she has been placed on the sex offender’s registry for the rest of her life.