Debra Lafave Explained

Debra Jean Beasley
Birth Date:1980 8, mf=yes
Birth Place:Riverview, Hillsborough County, Florida, U.S.
Charge:Lewd and lascivious battery
Conviction Penalty:Community control (3 years)
Probation (7 years, terminated early)
Conviction Status:Free
Occupation:former teacher
Spouse:Kristian Owen Lafave (divorced)

Debra Jean Beasley, better known under her former married name of Debra Lafave, (born August 28, 1980) is a former teacher at Angelo L. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida. She pleaded guilty in 2005 to Lewd or Lascivious Battery. The charges stemmed from a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old student in the summer of 2004.

Early life and education

Lafave graduated from the University of South Florida,[1] with a degree in English.[2] After graduation she was hired as an English teacher at a middle school in Temple Terrace, Florida. She married Owen Lafave in 2003 following her first year of teaching.[3]

The relationship

Lafave had oral sex and sexual intercourse with the student on four different occasions.[4] [5]

Arrest and trial

Investigating officers pursued the case after being notified by the 14-year-old boy's mother.[6] Officers tape-recorded conversations between Lafave and the boy, then arrested her at their next meeting. Two separate sets of charges were filed, because the alleged incidents occurred in two different counties. A trial date was set after the defense would not agree on a plea bargain that involved prison time.

Shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin, the boy's mother learned that it was to be covered by Court TV and agreed to a plea bargain with no prison time in order to avoid her young son having to testify in court.[7] Lafave pleaded guilty under the agreement and was sentenced to three years of Community Control (house arrest), seven years of probation, and forced to register as a sex offender, along with various other requirements.[8] There was widespread skepticism as to whether a man guilty of lewd or lascivious battery would have received similar treatment.[7] [9]

On December 8, 2005, the judge in the second county refused to accept plea-agreement terms that included no prison time and set a trial date for April 10, 2006. The prosecutor in that case later dropped the charges.[10]

Physical appearance

Commentators have claimed that the attention given to this particular case arises from Lafave's physical beauty.[11] [12] Provocative modeling photographs of Lafave have circulated on the Internet since she first gained notoriety.[12]

The Tampa Police Department also came under scrutiny when it was revealed they took graphic nude photos of Lafave while she was in stirrups in a jail cell. John Gillespie, the lead detective who requested the nude photos of Lafave, was arrested before the trial in an unrelated prostitution sting.[13]

Aftermath

Lafave later attributed her indiscretions to bipolar disorder, which is associated with intense and irregular mood swings, and with hypersexuality and poor judgment during manic episodes.[14]

She was arrested on December 4, 2007, for violating her probation by speaking with a 17-year-old female restaurant co-worker.[15] [16] The court ruled, however, that the violation was neither willful nor substantial, and did not revoke her probation. In July 2008, within the terms of her plea deal, LaFave petitioned to convert the remainder of her house arrest to probation, having satisfied other terms such as sex offender therapy and community service. Her petition was granted and her house arrest ended four months early.[17] On October 29, 2009, it was announced that Lafave was allowed to have contact with some children.[18]

Lafave's ex-husband appeared on numerous talk shows regarding how his then-wife's crime had affected their relationship. He features in the documentary After School, which focuses on teacher/student relationships.

On September 22, 2011, LaFave moved to end her probation four years early, on account of having completed all other obligations, as well as recently becoming a mother. Her petition was granted and her probation ended that day. The victim's family stated that they would appeal the decision.[19]

See also

External links

Notes and References

  1. Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Shannon. Tampabay: Teacher considers plea deal in sex case, June 16, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2009.
  2. Lauer, Matt. Debra Lafave: Crossing the Line, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, September 13, 2006. Accessed June 26, 2010.
  3. Web site: Debra Lafave: Crossing the Line, Dateline NBC. MSNBC. September 13, 2006. April 9, 2011.
  4. Web site: Time Waster. Reading Teacher Booked. The Smoking Gun. April 9, 2011.
  5. News: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-504083_162-10004533.html?tag=page. CBS News.
  6. http://reports.tbo.com/reports/lafave/ Tampa Bay Breaking News
  7. Krause, Thomas W. Lafave Signs Plea, Tampa Bay Online, November 23, 2005. Accessed July 15, 2008.
  8. Rondeaux, Candace. No jail time for Lafave, St. Petersburg Times, November 22, 2005. Accessed July 15, 2008.
  9. Fatal Beauty: 15 Most Notorious Women, E! Network, June 6, 2009.
  10. Web site: Hillsborough: Charges dropped against Lafave. Sptimes.com. March 21, 2006. April 9, 2011.
  11. News: Debra Lafave Sexy Photos Offer: Will Teacher Strip After Probation?. Wendy Cook. April 10, 2008. National Ledger.
  12. News: Racy Photos of Debra Lafave Hot Again After Teacher Gets Off. Jon Shanks. April 10, 2008. National Ledger.
  13. "Detective investigating Debra Lafave has also been arrested" WTSB-Tampa Bay News Report, September 16, 2005 http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=18971
  14. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14801562/ Debra Lafave: ‘I crossed the line’
  15. WTSP – Tampa Bay's 10 News. "Debra Lafave arrested today". December 4, 2007 http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=69112
  16. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/12/04/teacher.sex/index.html Former teacher who had sex with student back in trouble
  17. News: Debra Lafave no longer on probation. Poltilove. Josh. September 22, 2011. September 22, 2011. Tampa Tribune.
  18. News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/29/ap/national/main5453559.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody. CBS News.
  19. News: Tampa teacher who admitted sex with student let off probation early. CNN. September 22, 2011. September 22, 2011.