Lucy Jayne Hambley, a woman living in the UK, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for grooming and molesting a 13 year old boy. According to Cornwall Live, one of Hambley’s was to convince him that he was not gay.
Speaking before Truro Crown Court in Cornwall, Prosecutor Heather Hope laid out the awful sequence of events. The two were neighbors, and the victim offered to do work on Hambley’s yard. Hambley took advantage of this offer to get close to the boy. “On one occasion there was a sleepover and everything was fine,” said Hope. “But next time she said, ‘I wish I had you in my bedroom’. She offered to look after him and got him into drinking and smoking even though he didn’t enjoy it.
After four weeks of grooming, the abuse quickly escalated. “He confided in her that he was gay,” said Hope, “and she walked him into the bedroom and said she was going to prove he was straight before snogging him on the bed.”
Hambley regularly forced sex on the victim after that, often dragging him into her bedroom. Said Hope, “She didn’t put a condom on him and told him she wanted to get pregnant by him which scared him.”
Eventually, a neighbor came by to register a noise complaint when he saw the two of them partly dressed and reported the abuse to Childline. The boy also detailed the events to his mother and a youth center worker. In a victim impact statement, he said, “I can’t go one day without crying and she has destroyed me and my self-worth. I feel useless, worthless and stupid.”
Hambley pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a minor. Defense attorney Rupert Taylor sought a lighter sentence, saying, “She is ashamed of her behavior. She was lonely and unhappy and suffering from anxiety and depression.”
Judge Anna Richardson rejected this claim based on the clear premeditation. “You told him not to tell anyone and repeatedly contacted him by phone to request he visited you,” Judge Richardson said. “You showed him naked pictures of yourself you posted on dating sites and this all happened regularly. He didn’t want to see you but you continued to pursue him.”
In addition, Judge Richardson pointed out other more chilling attempts to avoid consequences: “The pre-sentence report makes worrying reading and in it you attempt to place blame on your victim but you were the adult and in position of control and you abused it.”
Meanwhile across the Atlantic Ocean, Republican lawmakers in Florida have branded the “Don’t Say Gay” bill as “anti-grooming,” equating the mere mention of LGBTQ+ people with child abuse. Stories like this demonstrate not only what actual grooming looks like, but the real harm the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric conservatives spout causes to children.