When we think of sexual predators, the image that springs to mind is usually a man. However, there are many recorded cases of women committing such vile acts. Below are 10 sexual assaults in which the perpetrator was a woman.
In the late 1970s, former Miss Wyoming Joyce McKinney’s actions shocked the UK—and led her straight to prison. Her strange tale of sexual obsession involves a kidnapping at gunpoint, chaining her victim to a bed for three days of forced sex, and continuing to stalk him many years later.
When she was 25, McKinney met 19-year-old Kirk Anderson through a drama course both attended at Brigham Young University, resulting in a brief affair. Racked with guilt due to his religious beliefs, Anderson fled to England on the advice of his bishop. McKinney wasn’t willing to let go of the young man, though, so she hired a private detective to track him down. Once she learned his whereabouts, she armed herself with a fake gun and a bottle of chloroform and set out in pursuit of her younger lover. Along for the ride was a devoted (or deluded) friend named Keith May.
Upon arriving in England, she rented a cottage in Devon and gave May the gun and instructions to retrieve her lover. May obediently kidnapped Anderson outside his church and drove him to the cottage, where Joyce was waiting for him. After preparing him dinner, McKinney ordered May to chain Anderson to the bed, where she assaulted him continually over the course of three days.
Anderson only escaped this ordeal by promising to marry McKinney, after which she agreed to remove his chains. He subsequently reported the crime to the police, stating that McKinney claimed her intentions were to have sex with him until she got pregnant. McKinney later asserted that her actions were in the service of freeing Anderson “from the cult of Mormonism.”
Following their arrest, McKinney skipped bail and fled to Canada with her accomplice, where she disappeared from the public eye until she was found in Atlanta trying to sell her story to a local tabloid. After Anderson returned to Utah to continue his work with the church, she was arrested for stalking him. Police found a set of chains and handcuffs in her car.
McKinney, now in her sixties, has had no other relationships and still seems fixated on Anderson. She claims to have received offers from Hollywood for the movie rights to her story (though all that’s come to pass is a 2004 documentary) and still proclaims her love for Kirk into old age, declaring “I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.”
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Courtney Reschke is suspected of using Facebook and text messaging to lure at least eight young boys, all friends of her own child, to her home in order to get them drunk and perform sexual acts with them, later described as “sex parties.” All of her victims were 15 years old at the time of the assaults, which began with the start of the school year in 2012. In one incident, she carried on her abhorrent behavior in the presence of her five-year-old child, who entered the room where the assault was taking place.
Reschke initially pleaded not guilty to all the charges against her, which included 11 felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor, two counts of child abuse, and seven misdemeanor counts of providing alcohol to minors. She later arranged a plea bargain to be sentenced only for six counts of lewd conduct, involving only one of her victims. She is currently serving up to 20 years behind bars, though she is eligible for parole after only three.
A distant relative of British Prime Minister Clement Atlee, Jill Dudley appeared to be a respectable wife and mother. Her descent into depravity took place after her first husband, John Lewis, was killed in a car accident just three weeks after she gave birth to their twin children, Alex and Marcus, and she married Jack Dudley.
Jack was a harsh and strict father who favored his own children with Jill over the twins, whom he treated like servants. Both boys were forced to sleep in a garden shed with no heating instead of the family home. As cruelly as he treated the twins, their own mother was even worse. Jill began sexually abusing the boys at a very young age and occasionally left them with her close male friends overnight, where they were abused by these predators as well. Jack Dudley apparently knew nothing of his wife’s actions.
The family grew up in poverty, and both boys remember being so hungry that whenever they had the chance to eat at another family’s home, they shocked their hosts by madly gulping down their food. When their mother died, the boys were surprised to find out that she was actually very wealthy, having inherited large sums of money from members of the Atlee family, but simply refused to spend it on the care of her children. That wasn’t the only shocking discovery uncovered after her death: When her home was inventoried, sex toys were found in one of her dresser drawers, along with explicit photos of the young boys.
Alex and Marcus grew up to have productive lives, eventually starting families of their own as well as running a successful business together. They later wrote a book about their horrific childhood titled Tell Me Who I Am, which recounts their sufferings in detail.
Under three separate assumed identities, 19-year-old Gemma Barker engaged in a campaign of deception and fraud that ruined the lives of those she claimed to love. In 2009, she befriended two girls while posing as a man on Facebook and convinced each to meet her in person, where she disguised herself as one of her male alter egos, before initiating a sexual relationship.
Neither of the girls suspected that their “boyfriend” was really a woman. Even after the relationships became physical, Gemma’s surreptitious use of sex toys maintained the deception. Eventually, one of the girls recognized Gemma online using another assumed identity, who appeared to be in a relationship with another woman the girl knew. After the two went to the police and Gemma was arrested, the entire deception was revealed.
Gemma showed no remorse as she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for sexual assault and was described by the judge as “deceptive and deceitful” in her behavior. Both of her victims sought rape counseling after being emotionally scarred by the ordeal.
One of the most disgusting and frightening examples of female sexual predation is the case of Ashley Jessup. In August 2011, Jessup’s boyfriend, with whom she enjoyed exchanging sexually explicit images and videos via email, asked her to perform sexual acts on her 10-month-old son and film it for him. She willingly complied, performing oral sex on the baby and fondling his genitals.
When her boyfriend’s former girlfriend found the video on his computer, she contacted the police, who seized Jessup’s computer. The boyfriend was convicted of sexually abusive computer activity and sentenced to 3–20 years in prison, while Jessup was convicted of two counts of rape of a child under 13 years old, one count of endangering children, and one count of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor. She was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. The child was placed in the care of his grandmother.
Sarah Hopkins gave a horrifying twist to the term “cougar,” as the 35-year-old was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy. The boy was the child of her neighbor and close friend. Hopkins and the boy would often go on long walks together or spend time at her apartment, where she showed him pornographic films and initiated sexual relations.
Her secret was revealed when the boy confessed the details of the eight-month ordeal to his mother, after which Hopkins was promptly arrested and charged with various sexual crimes, eventually pleading guilty to three counts of rape and two of sodomy and being sentenced to 12 years in prison. Police investigating the case believed that the Hopkins could have assaulted other young victims, but this was never proven.
Theresa Goddard was a shockingly shameless predator with a desire for what she called an “incest family.” She went so far as to post an online advertisement stating explicitly what she sought: a man who had children with whom they could have sex. All appeared to be going well for her when a 51-year-old father of two children, aged 9 and 10, responded to the ad. The two began to chat via email and Skype to discuss a possible arrangement. After various emails and video chats, Goddard expressed interest in quitting her job and moving to Virginia to become his children’s “pervstepmom.”
She got exactly what she should have expected and certainly deserved, however, when the man turned out to be an undercover officer with the Department of Homeland Security. When she arrived at the airport to meet her new “boyfriend,” she was promptly arrested and soon convicted of attempting to coerce and entice two children into engaging in illegal sexual activity. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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Jennifer Rice was a teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington when she became fixated on an 11-year-old student. Her obsession led to an inappropriate relationship between the two involving illicit email exchanges, movie dates, and eventually, sexual assault. The boy’s father soon became suspicious of the teacher’s motives and forbade his son from having any further contact with her, which drove the increasingly unhinged Rice to kidnapping. She planned to take the boy out of state, and by her own admission, she raped the boy at a rest-stop during the trip.
After she was arrested, it was discovered that Rice had also assaulted the boy’s 15-year-old brother. In 2009, she was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for her many depraved acts. Though she showed genuine remorse for her actions, it was ruled that she must serve her entire sentence and may not be eligible for parole.
In another case of a teacher taking advantage of one of her own students, Leah Shipman initiated a predatory sexual relationship with 15-year-old Johnny Ray Ison while she was employed at Wilmington High School in North Carolina. She was eventually arrested on charges of statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child but avoided prosecution by exploiting a legal loophole. Two years after her arrest, she actually married the young man.
The wedding took place just six days after Shipman left her husband of 19 years. Disgustingly, she was given consent to marry the still-underage boy by his own mother. The tactic allowed her to invoke her Sixth Amendment rights, which prevent a defendant’s spouse from being forced to testify against them. Without Ison’s testimy, she could only be charged with interfering with the investigation by calling the boy and sending him text messages during the proceedings. She received only a suspended sentence of 20–30 days in prison, a year of probation, and $345 in restitution. The only real justice is that she has been forbidden to teach ever again.
When Aaron Gilmore was 11 years old and Hendrika Shaskey was 35, he was a student of hers at a school in New Zealand. At the time, he wasn’t close to his own mother, and taking advantage of this, Shaskey befriended him and often invited him to her home to socialize with her own children. He quickly grew fond of the attention and began to think of his teacher as a “second mother.” Unbeknownst to him, her motives went far beyond a simple concern for his welfare. Just under a year after they began their friendship, Shaskey drove him to a secluded parking lot and molested him.
Although he was shocked, Gilmore initially confused the abuse with motherly affection. It continued for five years, during which time Gilmore often stayed overnight at Shaskey’s home. Eventually, she took the young boy with her on vacation. While away from prying eyes, she convinced him to share a bed at their hotel and raped him. After this episode, the older woman got divorced and the parents of the young boy, who clearly knew nothing about the abuse, let him move in with her, since her home was closer to both his school and his dance academy. He only left her clutches at the age of 18, after taking a job as a dancer in Australia.
Gilmore came forward about the abuse in the early 2000s. Though his claims were initially met with doubt and ridicule, Shaskey was ultimately arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Having ended the shame and humiliation of this chapter in his life, Gilmore later went on to star in Australia’s Dancing with the Stars.