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Teen's Affair With Teacher

ATTRACTIVE young teacher Debra Lafave hardly fits the picture of a scheming, lecherous pedophile capable of stealing a child's innocence.
But that is exactly how prosecutors in Florida will be portraying the 24-year-old blonde when she goes to trial next year on a series of molestation charges that stem from her seduction of a 14-year-old student- Police documents allege the teenage victim started out as a teacher's pet to newlywed Lafave but soon became much more in June as the pair embarked on a series of sexual encounters at school, in the back of her car and at her home.
Since Lafave's June 21 arrest, her husband, Owen, has filed for divorce and she now faces a maximum prison term of 15 years on charges of lewd and lascivious battery and lewd and lascivious exhibition.
She has also been suspended without pay from Tampa's Greco Middle School until the criminal case is decided. Despite a raft of evidence including DNA samples telephone recordings and eyewitness accounts. Lafave has pleaded not guilty and is expected to lodge an insanity defence in a bid to escape Jail.
"Debbie has some profound emotional issues that are not her fault," her defence lawyer told the court in Tampa during a preliminary hearing in the high-profile case.
Those issues relate primarily to the April, 2001, death of her elder sister who was aged 24 and five months pregnant when a drunk driver crashed into her car and killed her. The tragedy had made Lafave "a basket case".
But three years later, and with Lafave alleged to have initiated five separate sex acts with her teenage victim, legal experts predict her defence will have a hard time proving its case.
Her lawyers will have to convince a jury she was mentally infirm at the time of each sex session and had no concept that what she was doing was wrong.
Yet while taped telephone conversations have exposed her child-like chats with the 14-year-old, the boy has also told police she had explained to him she was "turned on by the fact that having sexual relations with him was not allowed", court documents reveal.
The boy's mother called police when her son confessed to the affair. He had been spotted with Lafave by his aunt in Ocala- Florida, a long way from his home in Tampa, and the aunt told his mother. During that trip on June 17, it is alleged Lafave and her victim had sex in the back seat of her four-wheel- drive while the boy's 15-year-old cousin drove them around.
In his written statement to police, the boy says during the last two weeks of the school year "she told me that she had feelings for me".
"She told me that she was thinking about me a lot," he said
Lafave started turning up to watch the boy play basketball, even picking him up from home to take him to the matches, and on June 3 - during the summer holiday break - she invited him to the townhouse she shared with her husband, to whom she had been married less than a year.
The pair ordered pizza and watched the movie Stuck On You before having sex for the first time, it is alleged.
On June 14, the teacher seduced the teenager inside her classroom after she asked him to help her clean up.
Lafave was arrested in the driveway of her alleged victim's family home on June 21 after a telephone arrangement to pick him up was taped by police.
Since her arrest, not only has her husband left her, but soft-porn pictures of her straddling a motorbike have emerged on the internet after she posed provocatively for a 1999 issue of Models & Makes magazine, Mr Lafave said he despised his wife for what she had done.
"Ifyou ask me u I love her. the answer is No because I'm not sure who this woman is," he said.
"I have no feelings for her whatsover. What she did hurt me and a lot of other good people."

Sunday Mail (12-12-2004)
Anna Cock




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