Teacher confesses to having sex with student

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Monday, January 30, 2006

A South Australian teacher has confessed to having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

24-year-old Bridget Mary Nolan pleaded guilty to three charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with her male student. Facing a maximum of seven years imprisonment for each charge, Nolan pleaded with the Adelaide District Court to show leniency, claiming that she had been vulnerable, lonely and depressed because her boyfriend had left her for another woman.

Nolan, a music teacher, told the court she invited the boy to her house to discuss a kiss which had occurred between the pair on a school camp. The pair then had sex on three occasions, allegedly at the boy’s instigation. Nolan claims she engaged in the relationship out of fear that the boy would retaliate and report her, causing her to lose her job.

Nolan’s lawyer, Joana Fuller, told the court that Nolan was a secondary victim. "There's more than one victim (here), in what is clearly a sorry tale. These offences occurred not, as is often the case, as a result of a deliberate, premeditated exploitation of a student-teacher relationship. (Nolan) was lonely, she was depressed, she was heartbroken. She was utterly vulnerable at the time these offences were committed,” Fuller said.

The boy’s mother told the court the relationship had deeply affected her son. She said that his grades had dropped and that he has lost friends and been subjected to torment, harassment and humiliation by other students. "I will never forgive you for causing my beautiful son so much hurt and humiliation," she told Nolan.

The prosecutor urged the court not to suspend Nolan’s sentence, saying that she had repeatedly abused her position of trust.

Judge Gordon Barrett adjourned the case for sentencing in March.