When we think of sexual predators and child molesters, the conversation invariably trends towards males, and not without just cause. Men make up the vast majority of sexual offenders worldwide, with statistics ascertained through various governmental studies suggesting men make up anywhere from 91 to 96 percent of all reported cases. Though the discrepancy in male related sexual crimes to female perpetuated sexual crimes is undoubtedly vast, there are some difficulties in accurately determining the true prevalence of female sexual offenses as they are less likely to be reported.
With all that said, there have also been studies to suggest that, at least in an educational setting, women are likely to commit up to 42 percent of sexual crimes. Indeed, it is in education where the vast majority of female sexual offenses take place, and where the media focuses the bulk of their attention. The inappropriate teacher-student relationship is scandalous, salacious and a sure bet to garner viewership, readership and attention online.
While these sex crimes garner national attention, there is another subset of female sexual predators, though in the minority, who hold little to no position of power over young people through a teacher-student relationship and who go about their cycle of abuse much the way we traditionally see men doing so. Here are ten female sexual predators that are every bit as shocking as their male counterparts.
10 Gemma Barker
In a bizarre and far more nefarious take on the film Boys Don’t Cry, English teenager Gemma Barker began utilizing multiple Facebook accounts to build a portfolio of multiple identities, all of them men, in order to begin sexual relationships with teenage girls. Neither of the two girls Gemma, posing as either Luke, or Connor, had sexual relationships with suspected she was in fact a woman. The fact that Barker utilized a myriad of other alter egos in order to convince these teens, one of which was actually a friend of hers, shows the level of deception, and probably sociopathic behaviour present. Ultimately, once one of her victims began suspecting some sort of fraud, Barker sexually assaulted her, resulting in her arrest and subsequent sentence of 30 months in prison for sexual assault and fraud.
9 Beth Modica
Beth Modica led a good life. She was a former assistant district attorney, married to the Police Chief of Spring Valley in New York, and had four children, none of which apparently precluded her from lewd behaviour with underaged boys. After supplying high school kids with beer and dope at a pool party held at her home, Modica allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old boy, and later, at the same party, oral sex with a 15-year-old boy, who was her teenage daughter’s boyfriend.
After the incident was reported, Modica was arrested, and ultimately charged with “third-degree rape, four counts of third-degree criminal sexual assault, four counts of third-degree sexual abuse and 26 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.” Though she pleaded not guilty, in 2008 she was sentenced to two years in prison, 10 years probation, sex offender registration and, perhaps worst of all, received universal scorn from all four of her children during statements read by them at her trial.
8 Bella Barrera
Bella Barrera worked for the Salvation Army at a youth facility in Nebraska when she began an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 13-year-old ward at the home. She was first suspected of helping the boy escape the home, which even he denied, likely due to the sexual nature of the pair's relationship, but Barrera was ultimately convicted of the crime. Beyond that, the two allegedly had a relationship for nearly a year between 2007 and 2008, resulting in the boy testifying that he was the father of Barrera’s child. When brought to trial in 2010 after the child confessed their relationship, Bella Barrera was charged with sexual assault and child abuse, facing up to 51 years in prison. She pleaded not guilty, but a jury found her guilty of child abuse and Barrera was sentenced to 18-36 months behind bars.
7 Rachel Ann Hicks
Xbox is a popular video game console, and with Xbox Live functionality connecting gamers to the Internet, many friendships and maybe even romances have blossomed across the country via a mutual appreciation for gaming. That is not exactly the case with Rachel Ann Hicks, however. Back in 2011, the then 36-year-old Hicks flew from her home in Orange County, California, to Maryland in order to have sex with a 13-year-old she met through Xbox Live. On Thanksgiving weekend, the two engaged in sexual intercourse in Maryland, before Hicks flew home. It wasn’t until the boy’s parents discovered explicit texts, photos and videos on his cell phone that they alerted authorities. After her arrest, Hicks admitted to sleeping with an underage boy in California as well. All told, the mother of three was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
6 Theresa Goddard
The family unit is a very important part of not only American culture, but also cultures across the globe. Being a husband, wife, father or mother, is a dream for many people as they grow up and reach adulthood; building your own family can be a right of passage, and a wholly fulfilling and loving lifelong commitment. Unless, of course, your idea of family is akin to psychopathic sexual predator Theresa Goddard’s.
The British Columbia, Canada native actually posted an ad online stating she was a “perverted single female” looking to find a man with children whom she could molest. Her online user handle was “pervstepmom.” It actually didn’t take long for Goddard to get her wish, as a 51-year-old man from Virginia with two children responded to her ad looking for an “incest family.”
Thankfully for the world, but unfortunately for Goddard, the man was actually a Homeland Security officer who was part of a sex crimes sting. After two weeks of horrific chatting online, Goddard flew to Virginia ostensibly to meet her new family, and wound up in handcuffs. Goddard was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “attempting to coerce and entice two children into engaging in illegal sexual activity.”
5 Joyce McKinney
A brief affair with a religious man in the 1970s led a former Miss Wyoming Pageant winner to embark on a cross-continent journey involving kidnapping at gunpoint, sexual assault and solicitations for tabloid and movie offers. Joyce McKinney dated Kirk Anderson for a brief period of time when she was 25 years old, an affair Anderson ended quickly over religious beliefs. Anderson was so wracked with guilt that he actually moved to England, which didn’t deter the obsessive McKinney at all. After hiring a P.I. to track her lover down, McKinney crossed the pond, had an accomplice kidnap him at gunpoint and take him to the home she was renting, where she proceeded to chain him to a bed and rape him for days. Anderson only escaped his chains after agreeing to marry McKinney. Instead, he reported his ordeal to the cops. Though arrested, McKinney jumped bail and wound up in Canada. She tried to sell her story in Atlanta, and ultimately couldn’t resist following Anderson to Utah, where she was arrested.
4 Courtney Reschke
There’s being involved in your child’s life, and there’s being appallingly involved in your child’s life. Courtney Reschke of Idaho used social media platforms like Facebook in order to strike up relationships with friends of her eldest child. Reschke enticed at least four 15-year-old boys over to her house with the promise of alcohol and had sex with them. During one encounter, it was also alleged that her toddler was present in the room. After Courtney Reschke was arrested, she originally faced “11 felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor, two counts of child abuse and 7 misdemeanor counts of providing alcohol to minors” which she initially pleaded not guilty to. As her trial approached, Reschke pleaded guilty to six counts of lewd conduct, with the other five counts being dropped. Courtney Reschke was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
3 Jill Dudley
Jill Dudley put up appearances better than most, a seemingly respectable and well-mannered wife and mother. Under the surface Dudley was a vicious woman who systematically abused her two young sons sexually and otherwise. Though her second husband was apparently quite the authoritarian as well, he had nothing on his wife.
Throughout their childhood Dudley sexually assaulted her sons, let her other male friends sexually assault the boys too, and forced them to sleep in a shed. She also practically starved them. The years of abuse took their toll on the siblings, with one repressing his memory altogether until more recently, when the two have begun to talk about their ordeal.
Their mother was never reported, let alone punished for her crimes, which lead some to speculate whether or not they actually happened. When she died however, all doubt dissipated; Dudley was a hoarder, and when her house was being meticulously cleaned out, the most damning evidence against her was the collection of explicit photos of her boys that were found behind a wardrobe in her home.
2 Sarah Hopkins
Over an eight-month period, 35-year-old Salem, Oregon native Sarah Hopkins perpetuated a sexual relationship with an 11-year-old boy. The boy was actually her neighbour, and close friend's son, whom she befriended and initially took for walks that proceeded to get longer, and involve sexual activity. The boy would also spend time at Hopkins’ apartment where they were, on a few occasions, caught watching pornography by the boys’ mother. Eventually, the boy admitted the sexual relationship with the 35-year-old woman, and Sarah Hopkins was arrested, charged with rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Disturbingly, Hopkins told people that the boy was her boyfriend, and even had a photo of her and the boy as her Facebook profile photo.
1 Ashley Jessup
Love may know no bounds, but perversion and most importantly the law, does. In the case of Ashley Jessup, some have argued she was manipulated and insecure, and others say she is an outright psychopath. Regardless of a psychological determination, Ashley Jessup is a convict who committed a horrific, inexcusable crime against her infant.
Jessup and her boyfriend had a mutual admiration for exchanging explicit sexual images and videos of each other over the internet, which in and of itself is fine, until the day her boyfriend asked her to sexually abuse her 10-month-old son in one of those videos.
Sickeningly, Jessup complied. Once a former girlfriend of Jessup’s boyfriend found the video, she alerted police and both were arrested, with the young infant being taken into protective custody before being released to his grandmother. For his role in the disgusting assault, the boyfriend was sentenced to 3-20 years behind bars, while Jessup was sentenced to life in prison in Ohio.