A former Yass teacher who admitted to sexual offences against one of her former students has hugged her partner as she learned she would not spend more time in jail for the crimes.
- Lee Brown, 61, was given a suspended 12-month sentence for sexual intercourse without consent with a teenager 13 years ago
- Brown had pleaded guilty to the charge, but had challenged other charges for which she was later found not guilty
- She has already spent time in jail for other offences against the same former student
Lee Brown, 61, was given a suspended 12-month sentence in the ACT Supreme Court today.
She has already spent three months in jail in New South Wales for offences against the same victim.
But today Brown faced court in Canberra, charged with the initial offence of sexual intercourse without consent, which occurred in the ACT.
Justice John Burns told the court Brown had been a drama and English teacher who had known the victim for several years before the crimes.
At the time of the offences, Brown was 47 and the victim was 16.
Justice Burns said the abuse had continued until after the victim left school, noting it was clear from the victim’s evidence she had suffered a continuing detrimental effect.
The victim told the court it was three years before she could even talk about the issue with a psychiatrist.
“I felt violated and intimidated,” the woman said.
She said her first experience of sex had been of abuse.
“I carried the idea I was disgusting,” she said.
“Thirteen years ago Ms Brown decided to use my body for her pleasure.
“For 13 years I am the one who had to pay the price for that.”
But she told the court from now it would be Brown who paid.
Abuse occurred in garden shed after victim stayed the night
The court heard the initial offence happened after Brown met the victim and a friend at a shopping centre in Canberra and the three had gone back to her house.
The two students decided to stay the night in the shed in the garden, which is where the crime occurred.
Justice Burns noted this was the first offence against the victim.
“I am not convinced your behaviour was predatory,” he said.
Brown has already served time in jail in New South Wales for offences against the same victim.
In May 2018 she was sentenced to 13 months with three months non-parole.
This year, Brown pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to sexual intercourse without consent, about the crime that happened in Canberra.
During a disputed facts hearing about other charges, Brown told the court the girl had initiated the situation.
She said they discussed how it was wrong, but the girl had reassured her, saying she would protect her.
In the end, Brown was forced to resign when the girl told her mother.
She then went to work in Canberra’s jail.
‘She felt nauseous with guilt’
Brown’s partner told the court Brown was a kind and generous person.
She said Brown had admitted to her she had done bad things in her life, and had shown deep remorse over the incident.
“She said she felt nauseous with guilt,” Brown’s partner said.
Brown’s lawyer, Charlene Harris, told the court her client had made significant admissions to police when confronted.
Ms Harris urged the court to accept Brown’s remorse, saying she was a good person who had exercised terrible judgement.
Ms Harris suggested a suspended sentence, but prosecutor Sofia Janackovic asked for jail time.
“This is a case that involves and egregious breach of trust,” Ms Janackovic said.
In sentencing, Justice Burns took into account Brown’s difficult childhood and her ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder, which reduced her moral culpability.
Justice Burns said Brown had good prospects for rehabilitation, and a low risk of reoffending.
But he said the sentence did need to reflect general deterrence.
He placed Brown on a good behaviour order for 12 months and sentenced her to 200 hours of community service.