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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay West Candidates (L to R) Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green), Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent, Ed Varney (Independent).
Katrine Conroy leading in Kootenay West

Preliminary results put NDP candidate firmly in the lead.

There are few details but neighbours a Second Avenue house in Chilliwack say a huge police presence descended on the home after shots were heard. (File photo)
RCMP looking for witnesses in $5000 auto part theft

Two catalytic converters valued around $5000 were taken Oct. 22

Mayor Bruno Tassone was presented with a poppy to launch the Castlegar Legion’s annual poppy campaign. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar Legion kicks off poppy campaign

Remembrance Day ceremonies will look different this year

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read