Teacher, 55, who raped blind teenager 25 times in classroom 'sex pod' claims it was just a 'brain snap'

Nicole Evelyn Woods sexually abused her victim and sent him nude images while abusing alcohol and methamphetamine


                            Teacher, 55, who raped blind teenager 25 times in classroom 'sex pod' claims it was just a 'brain snap'
(Getty Images)

A teacher's assistant has claimed a "brain snap" caused her to repeatedly rape a young boy in a "sex pod" at the rear of his class. 55-year-old Nicole Evelyn Woods sexually abused her 15-year old student at a suburban Melbourne high school and sent him nude images while abusing alcohol and methamphetamine (or 'ice'). According to the Daily Mail, Woods denied her crimes right up to the day her young victim — now aged 19 — was due to present evidence against her.

Woods was hired in 2016 as a teacher's aide at the victim's school to help visually impaired students. However, she began to foster a personal relationship with the troubled teen and abused him in the "pod" at the rear of the classroom. The teacher's aide was also working in the school's canteen, and would regularly buy her victim food or pay to repair his mobile phone. At some point, Woods sent him a Facebook message asking the child to "come play with her" in her room at the back of the class, before sexually assaulting him. The abuse became a regular practice during 'Homework Club' after school, which Woods conducted in her classroom sex pod.

The boy later revealed to his friends that Woods had been paying him for sex, but it would be almost a year before the police caught up with her. By then, she had gained employment at another school in the same suburb. During interrogation, Woods denied the accusations and asserted that the boy had made it all up — and she carried this defense through a contested preliminary court hearing. But detectives eventually found nude images on the boy's Facebook account. Woods realized she was getting cornered and decided to flee from the authorities, thereby sparking a nationwide manhunt.

She was eventually traced and subsequently placed behind bars at Victoria's Dame Phyliss Frost Centre on December 13. Woods finally confessed to having sex with her young victim, but continued to blame him for it and insisted to a psychiatrist that he had wanted it. "I didn't ask him, he asked me," she claimed.

But during a psychiatric assessment, Woods went from saying she thought she was allowed to have sex with students to admitting she knew it was wrong all along. "It was a snap of the brain," she said. "It was just so wrong. I knew it was wrong... I always wanted someone to love me."

Woods has since pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual penetration of a child aged under 16. She appeared in the County Court of Victoria on Monday via video link due to the coronavirus lockdown. She was wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and stroking rosary beads throughout her pre-sentence hearing. Woods' victim, whom she abused up to 25 times over five months in 2016, eventually dropped out of school. The boy used to love cricket and soccer, but is now unemployed and receives a disability payment. Meanwhile, Woods' lawyer Jonathan Barrera defended his client saying she was abusing ice and Panadeine Forte at the time of the abuse and that her house had been repossessed. According to Barrera, Woods believed she shared a special bond with her victim.

But County Court Judge George Georgiou suggested Woods had shown little remorse for her actions as she continued to blame the victim.

"Did she not receive training at all about inappropriate relationships with students? About what the age of consent it?" he asked. "It seems to me she hasn't accepted responsibility for her offending."

A date for Wood's sentencing is yet to be announced.

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