A 28-year-old woman was sentenced to two years probation after having sex with a 13-year-old boy while staying in a transition home in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Two years’ probation for woman who had sex with 13-year-old at B.C. transition home

Both Min Chen and the boy were staying at a transition home in Victoria

A 28-year-old woman was sentenced to two years’ probation after having sex with a 13-year-old boy while staying in a transition home in Victoria.

On Sept. 25, 2017, a jury found Min Chen guilty of one count of sexual interference. The offence occurred in November 2015 but she was not sentenced until last month. There were a number of reasons for the lengthy timeline in this case including accommodating Chen’s pregnancy and birth of her second child and adjourning to resolve a constitutional challenge to the sentencing provisions.

According to the sentencing judgment, posted on Aug. 7, the stress of having these charges hanging over her head for almost four years caused extreme stress resulting in Chen threatening suicide by setting her quilt on fire.

In court, Chen testified the young boy had forced himself on her, which the jury rejected. The boy, whose name is protected by a publication ban, testified Chen had initiated sexual intercourse but “basically he was okay with it,” although he could not legally consent as he was under the age of 16.

Both Chen and the boy were staying in a transition house — Chen with her two-year-old son and the boy with his mother and siblings. Chen had become friendly with the boy’s mother and formed a relationship with the boy. Staff at the transition house noticed the relationship seemed inappropriate and at least one staff member spoke to Chen about it.

READ ALSO: B.C. man convicted of kidnapping and raping girl, 11, granted unsupervised day trips

The boy asked to use Chen’s laptop and violated the rules of the house by spending time in her room to use the computer. However, Justice Murray found that Chen had not “groomed” the boy as it was clear most of their time together was because he wanted to use her laptop.

At the time of the offence, Chen’s two-year-old was asleep on another bed in the room.

Crown sought a sentence of one year in jail with one to two years of probation to follow. The defence submitted a non-custodial sentence was appropriate given Chen’s personal circumstance and the fact that although the boy could not legally consent, he was a willing participant who according to the defence was “unharmed by this incident.”

“This is a particularly challenging sentence that involves unusual facts and a constellation of unique factors,” wrote Murray. During the trial, the defence called two witnesses who were both psychologists to testify about Chen’s risk of re-offending, the childhood abuse she endured and her issues with mental health.

“According to the psychologists, this abuse, particularly at the hands of her father, has had a profound impact on her. She has trouble managing her emotions and is extremely immature. She has been unable to have healthy sexual relationships in her adult life. She has been abused by almost all of her male partners,” reads the judgment.

According to the judgment, the aggravating factors — besides having sexual intercourse with a minor — included evidence that Chen told the boy not to tell anyone what happened, the fact that Chen was friends with the boy’s mother and “breached that friendship,” along with Chen’s vulnerable position.

The defence asserted the boy was a “confident kid who presented as older than he was.”

The mitigating factors in the case included Chen’s “exceedingly naive” persona.

“Chen acts much younger than her age; she is almost childlike … She is strikingly immature. More childlike than [the boy] in fact. Despite the large gap in age, the two are not that far apart in terms of social development. Despite his young age [the boy] was in many significant ways, as odd as this sounds, more grown up and certainly more confident than Ms. Chen,” reads the judgment.

READ ALSO: B.C. lifeguard nicknamed ‘Eddie Spaghetti’ facing multiple child sex offences

At the time of the offence, Chen’s life was in turmoil — she was unhappy, having trouble in her marriage, in transition housing and suffering from some psychiatric issues that she was unaware of. Murray stated there was little to no risk of Chen re-offending based on two psychologists’ risk assessments.

Murray recognized the timeline of events, starting in 2015 and ending in 2019, had an extreme impact on Chen, as she was humiliated and ashamed, and it is unlikely she will ever be permitted to work in health care or early childhood education which are her chosen fields.

In addition to two years probation, Chen must register as a sex offender for the next 20 years.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Most Read