Teenage sex victim says he’s ‘lost his best friend’ as mum he met on Overwatch sentenced


October 10, 2019 17:05:12

A Victorian mother who entered a sexualised relationship with a teenage boy online had ‘clouded boundaries’ around acceptable sexual behaviour, a court has heard.

Key points:

  • Andrea Yvonne Emmerson has been sentenced in a Victorian court over a sexualised relationship with a WA teenager
  • The judge said the mother, who was 27 at the time, had suffered spousal abuse and was seeking comfort
  • Her victim, who was 14 at the time of the offences, said Emmerson was “kind”, “friendly”, and a “shoulder to cry on”

Rochester woman Andrea Yvonne Emmerson was 27 when she befriended the 14-year-old victim through an online game.

At the time Ms Emmerson lived through a physically, mentally and sexually abusive marriage and used the relationship to shield herself from the abuse.

Emmerson pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to procure sex from a minor and transmit indecent communications, send indecent material and possess child abuse material.

She was sentenced in Shepparton’s County Court to eight months in jail but was released immediately on strict conditions.

In sentencing Judge John Smallwood accepted the sexual abuse Emmerson suffered had clouded the boundaries for acceptable sexual behaviour.

Because she had no prior convictions and had not attempted to groom the victim, Judge Smallwood handed her a traditionally lighter sentence for the “unusual” offending.

“There was no coercion or threat, you didn’t hunt for potential victims and there was no adoption of a false persona to win trust,” Judge Smallwood said.

“Your sexual morality was skewed and you were getting comfort from this young man.

“But at the end of the day, you cannot have people having this sort of engagement — it’s a frightening prospect and is becoming more prevalent.”

Emmerson is now on a good behaviour bond for three years, was handed a community correction order and must undergo continual psychiatric assessment.

Sex toys sent to victim

The court heard that in April 2017 the mother-of-two met the victim — a 14 year-old from Western Australia — through the online game Overwatch.

What originally began as a friendship turned sexual, with the pair professing their love for one another and sharing sexual fantasies over the course of almost a year.

During numerous conversations the victim requested Emmerson call him ‘master’ and asked her if she would change her surname to his once she got divorced.

Over the course of the relationship Emmerson sent images and videos of herself naked or in lingerie, posing provocatively.

Sex toys were also sent to the victim via post.

In a statement to the Shepparton County Court on Thursday, the teenager said he felt like he had lost his best friend and did not see himself as a victim.

“Andrea had a positive effect, she was always kind and friendly and a shoulder to cry on,” he said.

“Losing her was a sad time for me, losing one of my closest friends has been difficult to go through.

“I’ve been trying to get past the events of the investigation and I have no ill wishes towards Andrea.”

After her arrest in September 2018, police discovered 72 images of the victim on Emmerson’s phone and 107 images of Emmerson on the victim’s phone.

Mother reports online relationship to police

The relationship came to an end when Emmerson travelled to Perth to meet with the teenager but was instead met by the victim’s mother.

The mother became aware of the relationship months earlier and threatened to contact police if Emmerson continued contact.

In August last year, she discovered Emmerson and her son had continued to communicate online and reported the matter to police.

Emmerson was arrested in October.

During the investigation, police discovered conversations with other people in which she discussed her relationship with the victim.

“This little town I live in, I just haven’t been able to relate to people here,” she wrote in a Facebook message.

“[The victim] is trying to move out here at the end of the year, but that’s months from now.

“I want physical contact and I don’t mean sex, although I’d love that too.”

The court heard Emmerson, who grew up in Bremen, in the United States, had a tough childhood marked by a difficult relationship with her mother and had not met her father.

When she met an Australian man online and was offered the chance to marry, she saw it as an opportunity to escape, but ultimately suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of her Australian husband.









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