Jail for woman who had sex with boy, 13

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 28/11/2013

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A Waikato woman sought sexual solace in a 13-year-old boy because her marriage was disintegrating.

Melanie Laura Visser, 48, was yesterday jailed for three years and seven months after admitting three charges - one representative - of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection with a boy from when he was about 13.

The offending spanned eight months from July, 1998, and was always carried out in her house or around her Te Awamutu property.

The pair met when he was 12 and she was 33.

The victim recalled first having sex just before or after his 13th birthday when Visser came home early from a night out with her now former husband.

Visser massaged his back and made sexual remarks to him which, according to a summary of facts, made the victim feel uncomfortable.

After this, she walked the victim to a pond next to which she laid down a blanket and removed her and the victim's clothes. She then helped him put the condom on before having sex.

The pair's sexual encounters continued, with Visser declaring that she loved him.

One time the pair had unprotected sex in her bedroom, while another time Visser performed oral sex on the victim in her garage.

The victim felt ill afterwards and vomited. He then rang his mother who came and picked him up.

In his victim impact statement, which was read to the court, he said Visser had "destroyed his life".

He was getting into drugs and alcohol, was estranged from his father, and struggled to maintain a relationship with the opposite sex.

Crown prosecutor Phillip Cornege said further aggravating Visser's situation was the 20-year age gap, along with degrees of "pre-meditation, planning and persistence".

Cornege stressed gender equality to Judge Glen Marshall - to treat Visser the same as a man facing a charge of raping a 13-year-old girl.

"Irrespective of gender, they should be treated exactly the same way . . . the impact here has been considerable and it continues to this day."

He accepted Visser had no previous convictions and should receive full credit for remorse and guilty pleas.

Visser's counsel Kerry Burroughs said each case should be treated on its merits and it was possible for people facing these charges to receive sentences of home detention.

Burroughs said after the encounter with Visser, the victim went to live with his mother and partner who ran a "bordel", "so he was around a sexually operative lifestyle and his life, perhaps, hasn't been one where he's thrived."

"This is a woman who pulled herself out of a failed relationship, has done the best she can to raise her children, is in a new relationship . . . apart from this period of time where she sought solace in this young man, she has led a blameless life."

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Judge Marshall said Visser was now unemployed after quitting her job in August due to the stress of the case.

Visser was at a low risk of re-offending and highly motivated to change and engage in counselling.

Taking a start point of six years' prison, Judge Marshall gave Visser credit for her guilty pleas, remorse, and willingness to change.

- Fairfax Media

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