Toronto Sun

Friday, October 8, 1999

'Man' guilty of sex with girl

Duped kid for sex by masquerading as a he

By KEVIN HANN, DURHAM BUREAU
Toronto Sun

OSHAWA --  A mentally dysfunctional woman was convicted yesterday of masquerading as a teenage boy to romance a 12-year-old girl and using a dildo to have sex with her.

Kelly Ann Laird's lawyer had asked Judge Hugh Campbell to rule she was not criminally responsible for her behaviour due to mental illness. However, Campbell found Laird, 22, guilty of sexual interference and will sentence her on Nov. Court heard a 12-year-old Ajax girl thought she was having intercourse with a 15-year-old boy who claimed to be Kelly Slater. The girl was introduced to the "boy" by a friend who met Slater on the Net.

Forensic psychiatrists John Federoff and Jonathan Rootenberg testified Laird suffered from genetic identity disorder and borderline personality disorder. Federoff said Laird was not criminally responsible but Rootenberg disagreed.

Rootenberg, who studied Laird at Whitby Mental Health Centre after her arrest, said the Etobicoke woman told him she had sex with a 14-year-old girl at least 100 times. The victim was seen having sex with Laird on videos police seized in April 1997.

"She is not interested in sex but wants the female ... to think she is a boy," said Federoff. "She told me she is not a particularly sexual person. She said she's never reached orgasm."

After the 12-year-old discovered she'd had "intercourse" with a 21-year-old "man," she confided in a friend's mother, who called Durham Regional Police.

Investigators delved into Laird's past and learned she'd been convicted in January 1994 of harassing a 14-year-old girl, court heard. In 1995, a 15-year-old girl told police she was receiving harassing phone calls from a male, whom she believed to be Laird.

Police confiscated videos from the Laird residence in April 1997 which showed her having sex with girls aged 14 and 15, court heard.

The next year, a 15-year-old girl who reported a sexual assault told police she thought the suspect was a 19-year-old man named Kelly Slater, who called himself Smurf. Videos seized in 1997 were viewed and, because the sex acts seemed consensual, no charges were laid. The girl, after learning Laird was female, wanted to continue the relationship.

Laird was found guilty of criminal harassment in 1998. She got a one-year conditional sentence and was ordered to stay away from anyone under 16.

Federoff said Laird thought of herself as a 15-year-old boy and was not able to morally comprehend that her behaviour constituted a crime.

Police intercepted letters Laird mailed while in custody. In one, she wrote: "So what, she's 12. I really don't give a s--t". In another she wrote: "I did make a big mistake, though. Yeah, my girlfriend is only 12. And, yeah, she did think I was a guy. I don't think I lied to these girls cause (sic) I really do feel like a guy."

"I think she made a conscious choice, a voluntary choice, without being coerced at all, to meet her needs," said Rootenberg.

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