Ballarat woman got boys drunk for sex

By Adrian Lowe, the Age
Updated November 2 2012 - 7:03am, first published October 18 2011 - 6:18pm

A YOUNG woman got a teenage acquaintance and three of his friends drunk and had sex with some of them after a party, a court has heard.Laura O'Donnell, 20, was today released with a suspended jail term and a community-based order after a County Court judge found that her troubled background had been responsible for her offending.Between February and June last year, O'Donnell had parties at her Ballarat house and spent time at one of the boy's homes after buying them alcohol.She pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and five counts of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.In sentencing, Judge Sue Pullen described the offences as "very serious and disturbing" and said the woman's behaviour was "quite unacceptable".The boys, aged 12, 15, 14 and 14, were plied with alcohol on three separate occasions. The first two incidents involved one of the victims and the third, all four.O'Donnell was arrested last November after one of the victims told his father about the incidents."There is no doubt that your offending ... is very serious," Judge Pullen said.She said she accepted O'Donnell's plea of guilty as being demonstrative of some remorse but had guarded optimism about her prospects for rehabilitation.A consulting psychologist said O'Donnell had been promiscuous in an attempt to feel wanted and build her low self-esteem.She had been a drug user from age 14 and had below-average intelligence, and had used sexual experience as a commodity to get what she wanted, the psychologist said.O'Donnell had also suffered from narcissistic and dysfunctional parenting, severe depression and her drug use had deteriorated her IQ.Judge Pullen said O'Donnell would be a registered sex offender for life and would need to stop drug and alcohol use to avoid being a risk of reoffending.She said exceptional circumstances of O'Donnell's age and her dysfunctional background, which caused her excessive alcohol use, meant a suspended sentence was appropriate.O'Donnell was jailed for two years and five months, wholly suspended, and also ordered to complete a community-based order over 18 months.

Get the latest Ballarat news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.