Many of the sexual offenses we discuss in this blog focus on teachers and students who have become caught up in relationships that are illegal and inappropriate due to their age differences and positions of authority. But it's possible for parents to become involved in these affairs as well.
A 35-year-old Oshkosh, Wisconsin, woman was sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty to repeated sexual assault of a child and sexual intercourse with a child. The woman admitting to having sex with two boys, ages 15 and 16, on multiple separate occasions last year. A third boy also became involved with the woman, though no intercourse took place. All of the boys were apparently friends of her teenage daughter.
The woman originally faced felony charges of repeated sexual assault of the same child and second-degree sexual assault of a child, as well as three misdemeanor counts of sex with a child less than 16 years old. She pleaded not guilty to these charges, which could have resulted in a prison sentence of more than 80 years. But a plea deal she struck with prosecutors instead gave her 21 months in jail and 12 years of probation. She must also register as a sex offender and may be required to complete a court-ordered sex offender treatment program.
Prosecutors in the case said the woman deserved to be treated no differently than a man would be in a similar situation, especially considering the nearly two dozen occasions on which she and the victims had intercourse. Although the victims didn't appear in court for her sentencing, she gave an emotional apology to the victims and their families, saying she never meant to hurt them. Her attorney explained the woman continued the behavior because she was worried the boys would stop being friends with her daughter otherwise.
While some will argue that the case presents a double standard and that a man would have received a much harsher sentence, many would agree that the woman likely has a problem that requires intense treatment, just as many convicted male sex offenders do. Sexual addiction can strike both men and women, and the defendant in this case is likely to see more benefit from treatment and counseling than a purely punitive prison sentence. Her victims might also benefit from therapy to avoid future sexual problems that could lead to a cycle of criminal sexual behavior.
Source: Fox 11, "Woman sentenced for sex with teen boys," Chad Doran, Aug. 3, 2012
- Our firm handles similar situations to the case discussed in this post. To learn more about our criminal defense practice, please visit our Wisconsin sex crimes page.