Teacher defends her sexual exploits with students by claiming “I actually thought 16 was the legal age and I found out later it wasn’t.”

A high school teacher has admitted having sex with three teenage students from Tasmanian high schools where she was teaching, reports The Mercury.

Casey Lee Sullivan, 33, appeared before Chief Justice Alan Blow in the Supreme Court in Hobart after pleading guilty to nine counts of having sexual intercourse with a young person under the age of 17 years between 2012 and 2015.

Crown Prosecutor Jessica Wade said the victims were aged 15 and 16.

The court heard Sullivan’s offending started when she had sex with a boy she met while still a student teacher in 2012.

The following year, Sullivan sent flirtatious messages to a 15-year-old grade 10 student via Facebook .

She later told police she thought the boy was a year older “I actually thought 16 was the legal age and I found out later it wasn’t.”

In 2015 she contacted another student via social media and exchanged messages in which she was “flirtatious”, the court heard.

Ms Wade said the crimes were serious breaches of trust and said a deterrent sentence was called for.

Defence lawyer James O’Shannessey said his client had deep shame and regret for her actions and recognised the seriousness of her offending.

He said Sullivan had been ostracised by her local community and had been victimised and humiliated in public after news of her offending spread, reports The Mercury.

Mr O’Shannessey said Sullivan’s actions stemmed from emotional immaturity and self-esteem issues compounded by a bad marriage which had left her with feelings of low self-worth and desperate for positive attention.

Chief Justice Blow remanded Sullivan in custody for sentencing next Thursday.

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  • Given the woman’s own lawyer’s comments I don’t think the woman who did this should have even thought about teaching with such an emotional level of immaturity.


  • If you are keeping it a secret than you know it’s not okay.
    Why does a 30 year old women need to send flirtatious messages to a teenager???
    That is not a valid excuse. She exploited her position. Shame on her!


  • Oh the excuses. Low self esteem and a bad marriage? Big whoop. People who give lame reasons for crimes should have a harsher punishment


  • I’m sure she knew what she was doing. I hope the sentence reflects this.


  • Regardless of age where are her professional boundaries. Preying on young boys for her own gratification.


  • Hopefully she wouldn’t be allowed to teach ever again!


  • Regardless of what she mistakenly thought was the legal age, she’s a teacher, they’re her students. Such a massive breech of trust in her behalf. No excuse makes this any better


  • Some many excuses. All of them are unacceptable.


  • How someone like her can hold a teaching diploma?! I am sure her career is finished.


  • I think it wise that if anyone plans to have sex with anyone else that they check the legal age of consent within their State and exercise extreme caution particularly when wanting to have sex with a young person where age could be borderline. I hope she has learned a valuable lesson and doesn’t repeat offend.


  • Where’s her duty of care? Sorry not buying her excuse & sob story.


  • I don’t think she should be branded a paedophile but should definitely be banned from teaching at the least!


  • Irrespective of the age, this woman seriously breached her duty of care.


  • wow, that is such a cop out


  • I reckon the teacher should say goodbye to her career as a teacher.
    If she gets a gaol term she won’t find it easy to get another job either.


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