Thursday, 8 May 2008

Reduced sentence for female sex offender

A 35-year-old Melbourne woman who had sex with a 15-year-old boy has received a reduced jail sentence because treatment is not available to female sex offenders in custody.

Bianca Aleida Smulders, 35, formerly of Pakenham, wept in the dock as she was sentenced in the Victorian County Court on Thursday to at least 12 months in prison.

Smulders had pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16, and was also charged with breaching an intervention order.

The court heard the parents of the victim, who cannot be named, became suspicious of Smulders last July after realising she had bought gifts including cigarettes, CDs, a mobile phone and an iPod for their son.

The pair had sex in the back of Smulders' car and a caravan at her home on about 18 different occasions between July and October last year, the court heard.

An intervention order was taken out against Smulders on October 18 last year, but the court heard Smulders breached the order by sending letters to the victim.

The pair also had sex in Smulders' car at the Bunyip State Park, in Melbourne's outer east, while the intervention order was in place.

They each also sent more than 2,000 mobile phone text messages to one another up until November 3, when Smulders was taken into custody, the court heard.

In sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Chettle said authorities claimed that Smulders be treated no differently to any other sex offender because she was a woman.

He noted the maximum penalty for sexual intercourse with a child under 16 is 10 years in prison.

Judge Chettle sentenced Smulders to 36 months in prison, with a non-parole period of one year.

He said he set a "longer than usual parole period" in order for Smulders' to seek treatment for her offending while on parole.

He said he did this because courses for sexual offenders were not available to women in prison.

"You will not be able to benefit from a sex offenders course while in custody," he said.

Judge Chettle said Smulders' guilty plea and the genuine remorse she had shown for her actions, also entitled her to a substantial reduction in sentence.

Smulders has already served 187 days of her prison sentence.


New jails ahead of crackdown
TWO new jails will be built in Victoria under a $600 million budget initiative designed to ease overcrowding in the state's prison system. The sex-offenders wing to be upgraded at Ararat Prison houses some of the state's worst pedophiles, including Brian Keith Jones, or Mr Baldy. He and others have completed their sentences but are deemed such a risk to the community that they are housed outside the prison walls but inside its perimeter, under extended supervision orders.

Tough new laws for sex offenders

Under the new laws, serial rapists could be made to wear electronic bracelets or be confined to houses within prisons.

Abusers free without treatment
HIGH-RISK sex offenders who need and want treatment are released without it because the state's only rehabilitation centre is ridiculously under-resourced, says a psychologist who worked on the program for a decade.

WA sex offenders missing out on rehab
It has been revealed that over the past year more than 60 per cent of sex offenders released from Western Australian jails did not complete rehabilitation programs targetting their crimes.

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