Rafei – Nazira - Photo2.

Rafei – Nazira - Photo3.



Female judge ‘let sex teacher off lightly’

Updated Thu Mar 5, 2009 4:52pm AEDT

A victim support group is disappointed with the non-custodial sentence imposed on a Melbourne teacher over a relationship she had with a 15-year-old student.

Nazira Rafei has been convicted of committing indecent acts with a child after she performed sexual acts with the boy on two occasions last year.

The court heard the boy initially pursued the teacher and they engaged in a sexual act in the back of her car during last year’s teacher strike.

Rafei was 25 when she began the relationship.

In sentencing Rafei to an 18-month community based order, judge Liz Gaynor described Rafei as an extremely immature woman who became infatuated with the boy.

Judge Gaynor said Rafei was unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with the student’s pursuit, due to her lack of experience with the opposite sex.

The judge said she did not consider Rafei to be a predator.

But Noel McNamara of the Crime Victims Support Association says the sentence is too lenient and points to female bias as a possible factor.

“I think they seem to be mainly in most cases female judges who hand down these sentences and think that it is okay for female teachers to interfere with young boys,” he said.

“We don’t know what the end result is going to be with this lad.”

The judge told the court Rafei’s ill-fated affair has left her alone, deeply ashamed and riddled with guilt.

The court heard Rafei has been shunned by her family and community and her marriage is in ruins.

Throughout the case her family did not attend court. Her husband now lives with her parents while she lives alone in her marital home.

Judge Gaynor said Rafei’s actions had brought disaster upon her – she was sacked from her job and she will never be allowed to teach again.

Rafei will be placed on the sexual offenders register and she has also been ordered to do 150 hours of community work.


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