16 Oct 2015

Social worker 'shocked' by boy's affection

5:30 pm on 16 October 2015

A text message read to a jury details how a social worker accused of having sex with a 15-year-old client was shocked to find out he loved her.

Alexia Joseph, 30, denies a charge of unlawful sexual contact with an underage boy.

She was 28 when she and the then 15-year-old stayed overnight at an Auckland motel.

At the Manukau District Court today, the boy, who cannot be named and is now 17, said he sent Ms Joseph a text message telling her he was "falling for her".

Ms Joseph's lawyer Paul Pati read her text responses.

"That's impossible. I'm like old enough to be your mother... I don't know what to say. I think you're lovely, caring, you're just great all around, but I don't know what to do. You're not serious."

The boy's mother told the court she felt "mixed up" about a woman looking after her son, as he'd already been taken advantage of by older women.

The boy's mother said during her first meeting with Ms Joseph, she told the social worker from the Waipareira Trust that her son was vulnerable when it came to older women.

She said he'd previously been taken advantage of by both a 21-year-old and an 18-year-old, but gave no further details.

She told the court she thought this information would have been on his referral from Child, Youth and Family.