Teen's Affair With Teacher
ATTRACTIVE young teacher
Debra Lafave hardly fits the picture of a scheming, lecherous
pedophile capable of stealing a
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
Sunday Mail (12-12-2004)