Woman who had baby after sleeping with son's young friend pleads guilty

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A 13-year-old boy turned down an offer of sex from a woman more than twice his age but she followed him and enticed him into her bedroom, a court has been told.

Cecelia Rona Hale, 32, today pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual connection with the boy in July last year, and to selling him cannabis in the months that followed.

Hale bore the teenager's child earlier this year, which was taken into Child, Youth and Family (CYF) care.

According to the police summary of facts, the teenager and his family moved to Hale's neighbourhood of Manurewa, south Auckland, in early 2012.

Hale, who was 30 at the time of the offending, became friend's with the boy's mother, and her son went to intermediate school with him.

On July 1 last year, Hale was at the boy's house. His mother's boyfriend was going to be coming round so she offered for the youngster to stay at her place instead.

There she gave him alcohol and sometime that evening asked if he wanted to have sex.

The boy, now 14, declined and left for bed but the older woman followed him. When she reached her bedroom door, she removed her underwear and lay on her bed.

She held the boy down by his arms and they had "rough sexual intercourse", the summary said.

The boy stayed at Hale's house the next two nights and they engaged in several sexual acts.

The summary also said that Hale supplied the boy with cannabis at least once between April and October 2012.

She denied the offending when interviewed by police.

"... She thought the complainant had a crush on her and that he had asked her for a kiss once and made reference to her breasts," the summary said.

She also claimed he had stayed over only once when he had slept on the couch.

Hale's lawyer, Irene West, applied for bail given her client's limited criminal history, but this was soundly rejected by Anna Judge Johns, who indicated she was addressing the matter in the same way she would if it was a male offender.

"If you switched this around there's no question about bail being granted," she said.

Judge Johns indicated that Hale would be sent to prison when she was sentenced in September.

The court was told that Hale, who was supported by several family members, has four young children.

The case prompted Justice Minister Judith Collins to say she would seek more information on the law.

It also highlighted disparity in the law of rape, which makes it impossible for a woman to be accused of the crime.

However, Ms Collins said in a statement today that there was not a gap in the law which required legislative change.

"Rape and unlawful sexual connection are part of the definition of sexual violation. The same maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment applies to this offending," she said.

The case came to light after the child told his principal about two-thirds of the way through the 2012 school year.

"You won't be very happy with me," the principal recalled the boy saying. He said he had been having sex with his friend's mother "and it needs to stop".

The principal said the boy was "very aware" of the situation he was in and determined he wanted the contact to end.

CYF declined to comment today.

- APNZ

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