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Retired Car Whore
7,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 said:
-- In a last-minute effort to keep herself out of prison, a 25-year-old middle school teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old.

Debra Lafave, a former remedial reading teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, and was sentenced to three years of house arrest followed by seven years probation. She also must register as a sex offender.

She could have faced up to 15 years for each count filed in Hillsborough County. She also could have been charged in Marion County, because one of the incidents happened there.

"I want to apologize to the court, to the young man involved and to his family for my actions," Lafave said. "I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am very sorry for everything which has occurred."

A 14-year-old boy told investigators he had sex with Lafave three times in four days in June 2004, according to court documents. One of those times was in a car while his 15-year-old cousin drove them around, he told authorities.

He also said she performed oral sex on him multiple times, including once at her home, the documents said.

Defense attorney John Fitzgibbons said he began negotiating the plea deal Monday after he deposed the boy's cousin.

"We believe that this was a very fair resolution of this case," Fitzgibbons said, adding that Lafave avoided prison time with the plea and will be allowed to continue her mental health treatment.

"Very importantly, it allows the young man involved here to go on with his life, just as Debbie can go on with her life," he said. "He does not have to participate in a trial or deposition."

Fitzgibbons had originally planned an insanity defense, saying earlier this year that Lafave had "some profound emotional issues" and that "once anyone reads what the doctors have to say, they will understand a lot more."

Asked how she felt after the plea deal was announced, Lafave said only, "Tired."

It was a change of heart by the boy's parents that made the plea deal possible. At first, they had insisted that Lafave serve at least three years in prison, but they recently relented, allowing prosecutors to strike the deal before the trial began.

"Because of the media coverage of these cases, I fear that proceeding to trial will negatively affect my son's emotional and psychological well-being," the boy's mother said in an affidavit filed in Hillsborough County on Tuesday.

She added that her son did not want to testify and merely "wants to resume his life in as normal a manner as possible."
This brings up LOTS of questions:
1.) Was her punishment too light?
2.) Did this case set a new precedent for similar cases in the future?
3.) Would the punishment have been different if she were male and the victim female?...Or even male-male as far as that goes
4.) Are male "victims" at that age less prone to trauma than females?
5.) Her lawyer argued that she was "too pretty to go to prison" WTF? :confused:

This seems to be happening more and more lately: Female teachers having sexual relationships with male students. I guess Mary K. Laterno started the modern day trend. (OK, she probably didn't start it, but my guess is that she is one that everyone remembers). She ended up marrying the man that she was accused of raping as a minor...Does that make it any less wrong?

There's similar case in NY right now I believe. A very attractive woman in her 40s went to jail for having sexual relations with some of her students. Her jail time was very minimal. Her defense? She was going through a rough marriage and had a long history of alcohol problems.

There's another case in Warren Co. TN where a GORGEOUS teacher is accused of the same thing: Sex with a student.

A teacher from my old high school was accused of having sex with a student of his and he was subsequently FIRED and now resides in prison...This was 5 years ago.

There was a similar incident in a neighboring county where a teacher was accused of the same thing..Instead of being fired, the school board hired someone to basically follow him around during school hours to make sure that he doesn't do it again. The "monitor" is still employed by the school board.

Research has shown that female offenders are much less likely to have repeat victims than male. Does this mean that they should be punished differently than male offenders?

Some studies also show that male victims aren't as traumatized by the sexual interactions as female victims are. Does a double standard really exist?

At 14, I was a walking horn-dog. I probably would have LOVED the attention, especially from the looks of the teachers who are accused. Is it really traumatizing to a guy to be having sex with a gorgeous woman at 14? If I recally correctly, the "victims" in the NY case were 16/17...An age where MANY are having sex to begin with.

I'm not saying its OK for teachers to have sex with their students...That's just career suicide. In all cases mentioned above, I believe that none of the teachers will EVER be allowed to teach again, and I think all are now registered sex offenders (as they should be).

What are everyone else's thoughts?

Here is the picture of the teacher in FL:

Write it like it's hot!
2,556 Posts
In NH we had Pam Smart

Early 90's---- She was also in her 20's and the boy was 16.

Her husband ended up dead and she and the boy are still in prison.

Many 14, 15, 16, 17 year olds are not yet mentally mature enough to handle sex---- with a grown up or another teenager.

It's up to the "adult" to be the responsible one and if they can't, then they need to be accountable.

I think it's more than a black and white issue---lots of gray area.

33 ⅓
15,621 Posts
You want to know my crass, quick thought?

WHERE were these Hot Teachers when I was young and full of, you know, pent up energy?

IF I am to tell the truth, and I think I shall, back then, I would have LOVED to be the guy that those Hot Teachers were all on. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Now, that I am old and married, and a Preacher to boot, I have to say, that it's wrong for those Hot Teachers to do what they did.

No matter how I might have felt back then.

Write it like it's hot!
2,556 Posts
I totally get that.

I had a BF in college who lost his virginity @ 14 to a teacher.

He couldn't be faithful to save his life.

Did it have anything to do with his first sexual experience and the inapropritness (SP?) of it?

Who knows.

Just because!
3,712 Posts
My thoughts are this:

They should be punished just as severely as males. They are adults that are aware of what is right and wrong, and know the law states that sex with a minor is a felony. But women let their emotions get in the way. :rolleyes:

If women truely want equal rights, they should be held accountable to the same standard that men are held to! The blond teacher shown above should have gotten at least a year or more in prison.

That being said, in my teen years it would have been torture to have a teacher like that in class! I wouldn't be paying any attention to what was being taught!

Retired Car Whore
7,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- State prosecutors said Tuesday they were dropping charges against a former Tampa teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student.
The decision, announced hours after a judge rejected a plea deal for Debra Lafave, means the victim won't have to testify.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys had urged the judge to accept the deal for the sake of the boy involved. A psychiatrist who examined the teenager told the judge at a previous hearing that the boy suffered extreme anxiety from the media coverage of the case and does not want to testify.

Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil, however, said the lack of prison time for Lafave under the plea deal "shocks the conscience of this court," and he rejected it.

Assistant State Attorney Richard Ridgway, in explaining the decision to drop the charges, said: "The court may be willing to risk the well-being of the victims in this case in order to force it to trial. I am not."

Lafave, 25, already faces three years of house arrest and seven years probation in Hillsborough County, where she was charged with having sex with the same boy in a classroom and her home. She pleaded guilty November 22 to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery under a plea deal there.

In Marion County, she was accused of having sex with the boy in a sport utility vehicle.

Lafave said at a news conference later Tuesday that she has bipolar disorder, and her attorney said she was getting treatment.

"I have a lot of things in my past that have unfortunately become public," Lafave said.

Hillsborough County prosecutor Mike Sinacore has said the victim's family had anticipated a trial, but the media attention prompted the boy's mother to push for a plea deal.

"There is no one that wanted to see Debra Lafave serve jail time more than myself," the boy's mother wrote in an e-mail to the Ocala Star-Banner over the weekend. But she said the welfare of her son was more important.
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