Samantha Hesler groomed the teen, getting him alcohol, cigarettes and Playstation games over the course of three years in the 1990s, leaving him with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression
Image: Ian Cooper / Teesside Live)
An ex foster carer has been jailed for abusing a teenage boy, conducting a three-year sexual relationship with him.
Samantha Hesler groomed the teen, getting him alcohol, cigarettes and Playstation games over the course of three years in the 1990s.
The victim, who was 13 or 14 when the abuse happened, shared the devastating impact it had had in a statement, sharing that he suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, reports Gazette Live.
Hesler invited teenage children round to her home – she said to make friends with each foster child she was looking after.
But the trial in October at Teesside Crown Court heard that she plied the children with Budweiser and cigarettes and that her home was like, ‘a party house’, with Hesler joining the children in her hot tub, wearing a bikini.
The victim’s mother became concerned that he was spending so much time visiting Hesler, who lived with her then-husband and each foster child that she cared for.
Ian Cooper / Teesside Live)
The mother told her son to stop seeing Hesler, who was almost twice his age at the time.
Witnesses in the trial told the court that the victim was constantly at Hesler’s home and on one camping trip, Hesler ”disappeared for hours”, and was later found coming out of a tent with the teenager.
Another witness said he walked into Hesler’s bedroom and saw the boy under her duvet.
There were suggestions that Hesler’s former husband suspected someone was going on between his then-wife and the teenager.
The victim reported the sexual abuse to the police years later after a conversation with his wife who said she was thinking of becoming a social worker.
In his statement he told of the lasting effects the abuse has had on his life and relationships.
“I was a child when the abuse first started. My innocence was taken away from me,” he said.
He said his feelings turned from embarrassment to anger and disgust and he became depressed. He also suffers flashbacks and nightmares and is afraid to go to sleep.
“I stay at home most of the time with my wife and children,” he said.
“I no longer have a social life and I don’t work. I gave up my business because I was afraid people from my past may have judged me.
“I don’t like to go out and I even distance myself from parents and siblings, only seeing them on special occasions.
“I don’t take my children on local outings due to the chance of bumping into people from my past.
“I’ve even thought about moving but it’s not fair on my family.”
The victim suffers with PTSD and depression, he said, and has been undergoing counselling for the past two years.
He added: “I know what happened will never go away but I do hope with all the help and suppport around me, I will get through it.”
Hesler was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault by touching the boy’s private parts over his clothing and putting a condom on him.
The 50-year-old, of The Dorkings in Great Broughton near Stokesley, denied the offences but was convicted by a jury after a four-day trial.
The court heard she had no other convictions and was held in high regard from those who had written character references for her.
She also provided support to her elderly parents who had health problems, the court heard.
The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson said there was an element of grooming and the use of alcohol to facilitate the offending.
He also noted the “significant disparity in age” between Hesler and her victim.
“Despite the age gap between you, you formed a sexual relationship with him though not for the first time I remind myself that we are not dealing with you for having a full sexual relationship with him,” said the judge.
He added that she was “unlikely to offend again” and noted her lack of any other convictions.
Hesler was jailed for two and a half years and placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.