Transsexual walks free after admitting child sex offences when she was a man
A child protection charity has hit out at the lenient sentence handed to pervert transsexual Gina Owen, who walked free from court despite admitting sex offences involving a child – committed when she was a MAN.
They slammed the sentencing after Owen, from Leigh, near Sherborne, Dorset, walked free from court with a two-year conditional discharge despite pleading guilty to two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity 12 years ago, before she underwent a sex change.
The 61-year-old was alleged to have got a young boy to tie her up and humiliate her by hitting her “then male” genitals. Owen had previously denied two charges, one of which had also alleged he had urinated in her mouth, but on the eve of a trial at Taunton Crown Court on Monday (August 2) she admitted modified charges.
The allegation that the boy had urinated was dropped.
The charity said: “This is a complex and disturbing case involving serious sexual offences against a child.
“Such abhorrent experiences have long-term consequences for victims, and it therefore seems very reasonable to state that the sentence does not reflect the seriousness of the crime.
“This view is strengthened by the comments of the abuser after the sentencing. She declared herself free and able to walk out of court with few consequences.
“There is no sign of remorse and no indication that either the requirement to sign the sex offender’s register for two years or the £500 compensation to the victim were seen as robust deterrents.
“We need to ask what message this sends out to others who prey on children and sexually abuse them.”
Owen denied the charges at an earlier hearing but she changed her plea on the first day of her scheduled trial after the wording of her indictment was amended.
Appearing at Taunton Crown Court in a blue and green floral dress, she admitted two counts of abuse of trust by causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The first charge relates to a period between May 1, 2004 and August 14, 2004 while the second charge relates to a period between August 14, 2004 and December 31, 2004.
No further details or an outline of the case was heard during the short hearing on Monday, August 1.
After accepting her new pleas, judge David Ticehurst sentenced her to a two year conditional discharge.
Owen was also ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for two years and pay £500 compensation to the victim.
Speaking after the case outside court, she refused to expand on the circumstances behind her conviction.
She said: “I am free – that is all there is to it. I was slaughtered by the press before all the facts were known and was treated appallingly.
“I am not going to say anymore as me and my family have been through enough. I am free and I have walked out of court – what does that tell you? The judge set me free.
“That’s the end of it and I will now move on.”
Judge David Ticehurst said he had difficulty sentencing Owen because courses designed to help sex offenders reform were only available to men.
The charges detailed the sexual activity was of a non-penetrative nature but involved the boy “binding and humiliating” her, and hitting her on her then male genitals while taking photos of her.
Patrick Mason, who was defending Owen, said the offences had occurred just before she began her gender reassignment and she had been in a “difficult, sad” place.
He added: “She was literally a different person when she committed these offences.”
Judge Ticehurst said he was faced with a difficult decision when he came to sentencing.
He said: “There is no doubt that these offences were very serious.
“The victim who was exposed to your behaviour would have suffered some trauma.
“The problem is that I am afraid that a community order could put you in the path of abuse, and all of the courses run for sexual offenders are only available to men.
“I do not feel that either of those routes would be suitable for your particular circumstances.”
The NSPCC added: “Owen admitted causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity on a number of occasions.
“These intentional acts involved a vulnerable young boy. This kind of activity can ruin childhoods, with the effects lasting into adulthood.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said sentencing was a matter for the court and it would not be appropriate for them to comment on it.
But they said the charges were altered to reflect the “unique” offending that took place.
They said: “The CPS has a duty under the code for Crown Prosecutors to keep cases under continuous review.
“Before trial we determined the indictment needed changing to properly reflect the unique offending which took place.”