Teacher was 'victim' of teenage affair

By Chee Chee Leung
November 5, 2004

A schoolboy who had a 6-week sexual liaison with a female teacher when he was 15 has told a court he was not a victim of the illicit affair.

In a statement tendered to the Victorian County Court yesterday, the teenager described 37-year-old teacher Karen Louise Ellis as the victim of the case.

Judge John Smallwood said, from reading the statement, it appeared the teenager, now 16, did not consider their sexual relationship to be a criminal offence.

"The victim in the legal sense is saying: 'I'm not victim at all, if anyone's a victim, it's her'," the judge said.

Ellis, who was a physical education and health teacher at a northern suburbs' school in Melbourne, has pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16.

The married mother of three has admitted having unprotected sex with the year 10 student on six occasions at her Eltham North home between October 10 and November 24 last year.

In a pre-sentence hearing, her husband, Stephen Ellis, said that his work as a self-employed plumber had placed their relationship under pressure.

"When you're travelling away quite frequently you tend to lose touch a little bit of your marriage," he said. "She sometimes had indicated that I did not show enough affection towards her."

Mr Ellis said the couple were now doing their best "for our children's sake".

Ellis's defence counsel, Brian Bourke, said Judge Smallwood should not to impose any immediate jail time, pointing to his client's lack of previous convictions and the needs of her children, including one with serious health problems.

Ellis was released on bail and will be sentenced on Wednesday.