Renee Pilcher

Woman who held boy down for sex then became pregnant jailed

A WOMAN who plied a 13-year-old boy with alcohol before holding him down and having sex with him has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

Cecelia Rona Hale was appearing before Manukau District Court, in New Zealand,  after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of sexual connection with the boy in July last year and to selling him cannabis in the months that followed.

Earlier this year, Hale, 32, bore the teenager's child, 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 friends 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 due to visit so she offered for the youngster to stay at her place.

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.

When Hale's lawyer Irene West applied for bail Judge Anna Johns, said she was addressing the matter as she would if it was a male offender.

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

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

Justice Minister Judith Collins initially said she would seek more information on the law but later said there was not a gap in the law that 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.

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

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