A 51-year-old woman who started a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old boy she was caring for in her North East home, then blamed him for instigating it, has been told she was living in a "warped reality".
Heather Allen was sent to jail on Monday for a maximum of three years.
She pleaded guilty in the County Court to one count of sexual penetration of a child between the age of 12 and 16 who was under her care, supervision or authority.
The sexual activity occurred in July and August 2015, but Allen only went into custody three weeks ago and will be eligible for parole in 12 months.
The court case was moved from Wodonga to Melbourne for sentencing because judges are not travelling to regional areas for sittings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allen, a mother of three, met the young victim when they started chatting over Facebook, including sexualised messages and videos.
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She flew to Western Australia to meet him where they stayed in a motel for five days, before she brought him back to stay in her home.
A total of $1484.92 in Centrelink family tax benefit payments were made, but the prosecution did not claim this was the reason why Allan was caring for the boy.
The sexual relationship lasted about three weeks before police were called when they had an argument and the boy left.
It was not until 2017 that he revealed was had happened to him.
He called Allen in February 2017 and recorded the conversation where she told him "I lived with that guilt everyday", but her lawyer claimed this was about not giving him a fresh start, not the sexual acts.
Allen was interviewed by police in November 2017, telling them the boy convinced her to take him home from Western Australia and claiming he was "a manipulative and conniving lying person".
She denied the sexual relationship at first, but said "if there was, it wasn't at my instigation".
The victim told her court he felt hurt and angry at Allen, and the trauma had led to trouble sleeping and eating.
Judge Gabriele Cannon said Allen "tended to blame the victim rather than yourself for wrongdoing".
"In combination with a need to be needed and enjoyment of the victim's attention, you became infatuation with him," she said.
"I accept that you genuinely wanted to help the victim with some of the issues he was experiencing, but this was within a warped reality of having a sexual relationship with him."