TEACHER’S SEX CHARGES DROPPED
Debra LaFave, a 25 year old newlywed Florida schoolteacher, was arrested for having sex with a 14 year old student in her classroom and in the backseat of her car as another teenager drove them around. LaFave will say she was insane due to emotional stress and did not know right from wrong. The judge agree to appoint two mental-health professionals to evaluate her. Her trial was set for December 5, 2005, on four felony counts of lewd lascivious battery and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition. Each carries a maximum 15-year prison term.
On November 22, LaFave pleaded guilty to having sex with the boy and won't have to spend any time behind bars. She will serve three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery.
On December 8, LaFave's hopes of dodging punishment were dashed when a Florida judge reportedly rejected the plea deal that would have kept her from facing trial. The deal was considered a wrist slap for LaFave, whose lawyer argued she was too pretty to go to jail. But, another judge, in Marion County, Florida, where she was hit with additional charges because some of her alleged trysts were in that jurisdiction, decided to nix the plea deal proposed by her lawyers. She will now face trial for the Marion County charges on April 10.
On March 21, 2006, Florida prosecutors decided to drop the charges against LaFave. The decision, announced hours after the judge rejected the plea deal, means the victim won't have to testify. A psychiatrist who examined the boy told the judge that the boy suffered extreme anxiety from media coverage and does not want to testify.