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House Arrest For Child Sex Teacher

A female teacher pleaded guilty yesterday to having sex with a 14-year-old student, avoiding prison as part of a plea agreement.
Debra Lafave, 25, whose sensational case made tabloid headlines, will serve three years of house arrest and seven years probation. The former Greco Middle school reading teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lasvicious battery.
Lafave apologised during the hearing, saying, "I accept full resposibility for my actions."
The boy told investigators the two had sex in a classroom, at the school, in her Riverview town house and once in a vechicle while his 15-year-old cousin was driving.
If convicted at trial Lafave could have faced up to 30 years jail.

Adelaide Advertiser (24-11-2005)
Mitch Stacy


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Teacher Accused Of Sex With Teen

TAMPA: A 23-year-old middle-school teacher has been charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student in a classroom, at her apartment and, once, in a vehicle while the teenager's 15-year-old cousin drove.
Debra Beasley Lafave turned herself in to authorities this week on charges of having sex with a student.
Detectives said that the cousins provided matching statements incriminating Lafave and that the 14-year-old described Lafave's apartment and her tattoos and birthmarks. Lafave, who teaches reading in the Tampa, Florida suburb of Temple Terrace, was arrested there last week on lewd and lascivious battery charges.
She was accused of having sex with the teenager earlier this month at her apartment and in a classroom at Greco Middle School. She was out on bond on those charges when she turned herself in at Marion County, about 130 kilometres north of Tampa, where the cousin lives.
There, she is charged with lewd and lascivious battery and exhibition. She was released on $36,000 bail.
Her lawyer, John Fitzgibbons, said he was not ready to respond to the allegations.
"There is a presumption of innocence in this country, and I hope people will give Debbie that presumption," he said.
"There'll come a time when we'll have something to say about the defence and a position. Right now, we're getting through this process."
The teenager told investigators that he and Lafave got to know each other during a class trip last month.
According to the teenager, their sexual relationship began on June 3. The boy told detectives Lafave said her months- old marriage was in trouble.
He said she told him she was attracted to him because having sex with him was not allowed. Lafave, who has worked with the Hillsborough County school system for two years, has been placed on administrative duty.
She could be suspended without pay at the next school board meeting, officials said.
In Marion County, authorities said Lafave had sex with the student in the back of her sport utility vehicle while the cousin drove them around Ocala.
According to The Tampa Tribune newspaper, a report from the Marion County Sheriffs Office states Lafave had sexual relations with the student five times between June 3 and 17.
The first incidents happened at her home and school, detectives told the Tribune.
The other three happened on her way to Ocala or in the Ocala area in her car, the report states.
If Lafave is convicted, each charge could bring up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $14,500, according to Florida statutes.

Adelaide Advertiser (1-7-2004)

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