Ex-teacher Monique Ooms has avoided jail over sex with a student after an appeal bid by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kerri Judd was rejected.

The former Sale College teacher was sentenced on March 24 to 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to four counts of sexually penetrating a child aged 16 or 17 under her care or supervision.

That sentence was appealed by Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions, with Director Judd claiming the crime warranted a prison term. Ooms had faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

The now pregnant 31-year-old allegedly cried when she was told she was free to go by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, September 5.

Justices Richard Niall, Maree Kennedy and Cameron Macaulay dismissed the appeal, finding the sentencing judge did not make any error in handing her a community work order.

The outdoor education teacher had only recently moved to Gippsland before she began a sexual relationship with an underage student in mid-2022.

It has been reported that Ooms initiated message exchanges with the male student after noticing him withdraw because of personal issues.

The pair had sex several times over a month period before the school became aware through an anonymous letter.

In previous hearings, the court was told that Ooms was suffering from mental health problems.

As reported in the Herald Sun, though the appeal was rejected, the DPP argued that Ooms’ position as a teacher in a place of power-assisted her in commencing the sexual relationship.

However, the three judges on the appeal case considered her, not a predator, with the male student exercising a degree of agency and due to the fact the pair had discussed how appropriate the relationship was, her role as a teacher was deemed to have “loomed as an impediment” to the two.