Child-sex accused next to school

AMY MAAS
Last updated 05:00 23/06/2013

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A woman who allegedly had a baby with a 13-year-old boy has been bailed to an address bordering a high school.

Cecelia Rona Hale, 32, has been charged with sexual connection with a young person aged 13 between July 1, 2012, and July 4, 2012.

The South Auckland woman was also charged with assaulting the child using a glass as a weapon between October 1, 2012, and October 31, 2012.

Previous media reports stated Hale was 36 and the boy was aged 11 at the time of the alleged offending, however, court documents put their ages at 32 and 13.

It is understood Hale and the boy had sex several times before she became pregnant.

The boy is understood to have told the principal of his school, who alerted police and CYF.

Hale first appeared in the Manukau District Court in February and was bailed to an address which backs on to another school, James Cook High School in Manurewa.

Principal Vaughan Couillault was unaware Hale was so close.

"From a community point of view it would have been good if someone had popped into my office to give me a bit of a heads-up," he said.

Hale's exact bail conditions are not known, but Couillault was concerned if she was not being electronically monitored because he believed there was "potentially a risk to the community".

Couillault added that if an alleged male sex offender had been bailed close to a school there "would be all sorts of uproar" and measures would be put in place.

"I don't see the difference between a male and a female . . . they've allegedly taken advantage of a young person," he said.

"And sure, there's the innocent until proven guilty thing, but I think when my community finds out, there would be some furrowed brows, that's for sure."

A Child, Youth and Family spokesperson confirmed CYF was involved with the case. It is understood the baby has been taken into CYF care.

Anyone found guilty of sexual connection with a child under the age of 16 faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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- Sunday Star Times

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