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A male having sex with a minor child is recognized as a horror, which of course it is, he says.“But in cases where a female had sex with a minor boy, there have been many examples of judges saying, ‘Where’s the harm here?Crown counsel David Simpkin presented a more nefarious scenario: “[Ralph] appears to be bored, looking for some spice in her life and chose the victim,” he said.“She doesn’t appear to have any insight into the harm she has caused.” Justice Selwyn Romilly was sympathetic to Ralph, concluding the grandmother didn’t pose a danger to the community and shows “considerable remorse.” When a male is a victim of a female, society doesn’t take it as seriously, says Robert Shoop, a professor of education law at Kansas State University and an internationally recognized expert on sexual harassment and abuse prevention in schools.He bragged to his friends about it, how could he be hurt?’ ” Judges tend to reflect community values, says Shoop, and generally [in the U. One of those values, he says, is that women are powerless and need to be protected from sex-addled males, whatever their age.

And last week Charlotte Parker, a married 32-year-old British teaching assistant, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence after admitting to a two-year sexual relationship with a male student that began when he was 14.; Parker threatened suicide after the teenager’s parents found out.

In August, Quebec Justice Valmont Beaulieu stated the obvious when he addressed the double standard in the treatment of teachers who have sex with students: “The sexual exploitation of a male adolescent by a female teacher must be punished just the same as a male posing the same actions toward a female adolescent,” he said before sentencing Tania Pontbriand to 20- and 18-month jail terms to be served concurrently, plus two years probation.

The former high school gym teacher from Rosemère, Que., had been found guilty of sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a male student with whom she had a two-year relationship. Its details, by turns tawdry and disturbing, revealed how the then 30-year-old Pontbriand acted as mentor, confidante and sexual aggressor to the 15-year-old.

The Crown called for three years incarceration for “egregious breach of trust.” Ralph received 18 months house arrest, six months curfew and community service.

The entrenched belief that men are propelled by lust, women by emotional need, shadowed Ralph’s case, as it does others involving female teachers.