Aggravated Sexual Intercourse with Child Aged 14, But Under 16 in NSW

Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.

 

A Sydney high school teacher has admitted in court to having sex with an underage student, pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old.

Monica Elizabeth Young was due to stand trial in September 2021 over allegations she repeatedly sexually assaulted a male student over a two-week period in Western Sydney in June and July last year.

On Monday 8 February, the 24-year-old entered a not guilty plea to 12 charges.

However, that all changed on the morning of Tuesday 20 April when Ms Young faced the Downing Centre District Court where she unexpectedly pleaded guilty to three counts on an altered indictment.

“Guilty, your honour,” the woman replied three times as the charges of aggravated sexual intercourse with a childaged 14 were spoken.

The court heard the charges were aggravated due to the child being under her authority at the time.

It is understood the unforeseen plea came about following talks between Ms Young’s high-profile barrister Margaret Cunneen SC and the crown prosecutor, and on the same morning Ms Young’s teenage victim was expected to pre-record his evidence ahead of the trial later in the year.

Ms Cunneen expressed to the court her client’s wish to put the boy “out of his misery” as soon as possible.

“My client was very anxious to avoid the situation where (the boy) had to endure another weekend of concern about having to do this,” she said.

“Because of the time taken to make this decision, that has occurred.”

“They were certainly my instructions from Ms Young, to put him out of his misery, as it were, as soon as possible.”

Ms Young was first arrested at her home in Greenacre in July last year and spent a month in Silverwater Prison.

In August, she was released on bail under strict conditions.

 

Prosecutors to Argue Jail Time is the “Only Option” for the Woman

Ms Young is expected to remain on bail until her sentence hearing in June, where prosecutor, Alexander Terracini, has stated he will argue prison time is “the only option” for the offender.

Mr Terracini said following discussions between the Crown, police and the victim, it was concluded that the sentencing process would be more efficient if Ms Young was not in custody.

It is understood Ms Cunneen discussed treatment options with the Crown and Ms Young is expected to have psychiatric and psychological reports prepared before she is sentenced.

“I expect there may be some treatment regimes that hopefully Ms Young might be able to enter into before the inevitable,” Ms Cunneen said.

During the sentence hearing, several other offences Ms Young is also accused of will be taken into account, although will not result in a conviction.

Specifically, the woman is accused of sending the boy a series of explicit messages over SnapChat.

A court also previously heard CCTV footage was found showing Ms Young moving the boy’s hand under a table towards her groin, despite her lawyers arguing that it did not reveal any sexual assault and that the vision was obscured by the table.

Aggravated Sexual Intercourse with Child Aged 14, But Under 16

In NSW, sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and under 16 years of age is an offence under section 66C of the Crimes Act 1900.

Where the child is of or above the age of 10 and under the age of 14, the maximum penalty for an offence is 16 years in jail. This also carries a standard non-parole period of 7-years.

However, if the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty increases to 20 years in jail. This offence carries a standard non-parole period of 9-years.

Where the child is of or above the age of 14 years and under the age of 16 years, the maximum penalty for an offence is 10 years in jail (s66C(4) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)). This does not carry a standard non-parole period.

However, if the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty increases to 12 years in jail. This offence carries a standard non-parole period of 5-years.

“Circumstances of aggravation” include circumstances such as at the time of, or immediately before or after, the commission of the offence, the alleged offender intentionally or recklessly inflicts or even simply threatens actual bodily harm on the alleged victim, the alleged offender is in the company of another person or persons, the alleged victim is under the authority of the alleged offender, the alleged victim has a serious physical disability, or a cognitive impairment.

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