DOCUMENT: K-12, Crime

Predatory Teacher Dodges Jail

Plea deal for Debra Lafave, gets three years house arrest

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Predatory Teacher Dodges Jail

Mother's Affidavit

NOVEMBER 22--In a sweetheart plea deal, a former Florida middle school teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old male student escaped a jail term today.

Debra Lafave, 25, pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and was sentenced to three years of community control, or house arrest, and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Lafave's plea came on the eve of trial and was approved by the teen victim and his family (in a court affidavit filed today, the boy's mother wrote that a trial would "negatively affect my son's emotional and psychological well-being"). Lafave, who will serve seven years probation following her house arrest term, was facing a maximum of 30 years in prison.

A probable cause affidavit prepared by the Marion County Sheriff's Office details the predatory behavior (in her classroom, an Isuzu SUV, and her Tampa-area home) of Lafave, who is pictured here in police booking photos.

A supplemental report from the Temple Terrace Police Department (which you can find here) included the boy's graphic account of his trysts last year with Lafave. "With about a week left in school she became affectionate," he told cops. (15 pages)