Former teacher Monique Ooms pleads guilty to sexually assaulting a student and embraces traditional life
Teacher, 31, admits to having sex with her pupil, 16, after she comforted him when his boyfriend was killed in a car crash – but says she should be spared jail as she lost her job and ‘public shame’ sorrow
- Former teacher embraces life as a tradition
- Committed guilty of assaulting student
- Couple start exchanging messages online
- They had sex in her car and in her house
- She will be sentenced on Friday
A teacher who admitted to having sex with her 16-year-old student in the backseat of her car while mourning the loss of a friend should be spared jail for suffering “public disgrace” and losing her job, argues her lawyer.
Monique Ooms, 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of sexual penetration of a child under her supervision and care at Latrobe Valley County Court in Victoria.
The former teacher had contacted the student after noticing he was more withdrawn, offering him her Instagram account and later her phone number.
The 16-year-old mourned the loss of a close friend who died in a fatal car accident the week before and was in an “emotionally fragile situation.”
The pair began exchanging increasingly explicit messages online, with Ooms sending the teen pictures of themselves in underwear.
The 16-year-old began sneaking out to have sex with the former teacher in the backseat of her car and later in her home, the Announce sun reported.
Monique Ooms, 31, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a child under her supervision and care in Latrobe Valley County Court on Wednesday
The former teacher (right) had contacted the student after noticing he was more withdrawn and offered her Instagram account, and later her phone number
The court heard that the abuse took place between July 1 and August 8 last year and only stopped after Sale Secondary College received two anonymous letters.
The letters stated that the teacher-turned-mason had a sexual relationship with a student, with Ooms later deprived of her teaching record.
The 31-year-old appears to have embraced her life as a tradie and has posted pictures of her wearing an Akubra and posing in front of a 4WD on her social media pages.
Ooms formally taught various subjects to high school students and had only been in college for a year before the inappropriate relationship began.
The posts revealed that the pair repeatedly said they “missed” and “loved” each other, with Ooms claiming she had fallen in love with the student.
Ooms formally taught various subjects to high school students and was only a year at Sale Secondary College before the inappropriate relationship began
The 31-year-old appears to have embraced her new traditional life and has posted photos of herself driving an Akubra in front of a 4WD on her social media pages
When questioned, the 16-year-old told police they were ‘just friends’ and called Ooms to signal her to delete their correspondence.
The student refused to be involved in legal proceedings, but his mother read emotional testimony in court.
She said she was concerned about her son’s future and how her family would overcome the inappropriate student-teacher relationship.
Uncle’s attorney, Katherine Rolfe, said her client had no criminal record, was of rather good character and accepted that the crime was serious.
She also had a complex diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder that affected her judgment, Ms Rolfe said.
Uncle’s attorney, Katherine Rolfe, said her client had no criminal record, was of rather good character and accepted the crime was serious
She said the former teacher had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward in recent months for suicidal attempts and thoughts.
Ms Rolfe has argued for a community-based order for Ooms, claiming the media attention and loss of her education record was punishment enough.
Prosecutor Andrew Moore said the crimes were serious because they involved a “significant breach of trust” in a vulnerable child who had been in her care.
Judge John Smallwood ordered Ooms to undergo a community corrections review ahead of her sentencing hearing on Friday.
The former teacher faces a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars.
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