A FEMALE teacher dared a 14-year-old student to touch her sexually in class, telling him, “you don’t have the balls”, a court has heard.
Aussie former high school teacher Monica Elizabeth Young, 24, told the boy that "it‘s dangerous if we get caught but if you do it, it will be worth it".
The Sydneysider pleaded guilty in April to three charged of aggravated sexual intercourse with a boy aged 14 in June and July last year.
In an emotion plea to the court and District Court Judge Kate Traill during sentencing on Thursday, the former educator said she was "extremely embarrassed" and "ashamed" of her actions, news.com.au reports.
"I am unable to fully express how sorry I am for my actions," she said.
"I cannot imagine how (the boy) and his family felt … it will be something they carry with them for the rest of their lives and it's not something I can take back or change."
Young found the teen on Snapchat and began bombarding messages which said she was "waiting for him" while begging him to send X-rated photos.
The ex-teacher was initially charged with 10 offences including multiple counts of aggravated sexual intercourse of a child aged 14-16 after being arrested on July 10 last year.
Investigators previously said she was charged with assaulting the boy on five separate occasions – including at school and in her car.
Her barrister Margaret Cunneen SC told the court Young's judgement had been blurred by the stresses of teaching during Covid-19 without proper training or support.
She said the woman suffered from significant stress from the breakdown of her engagement.
Young began teaching in March 2020 shortly before lockdown and online teaching began.
"Students could message you up until midnight. There were no boundaries for online teaching,” she told a Sydney District Court on Thursday.
When classes resumed, she dared the student to give her a hug, saying he "didn't have the balls".
Sex acts took place in empty classrooms, on a staircase, and once during a movie screening with other students close by.
CCTV footage caught Young driving to meet the teen in a park shortly after messaging him that "it's dangerous if we get caught, but if you do it, it'll be worth it".
She was eventually spotted by the victim's family, who then alerted the school principle and police.
Hitting back at Cunneen's claims, prosecutor Alexander Terracini said: "While it may be accepted Ms Young didn't go into teaching to have access to children the fact is within months … she was abusing one of them.
"That cannot simply be ignored."
Young admitted to initiating physical contact with the boy on each occasion over a two-week period.
Medical reports cite her as having borderline personality disorder features and that she was deeply affected by the demise of her engagement.
She will be sentenced on July 8.
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