|Debra Jean Beasley|
mug shot taken in 2009|
mug shot taken in 2009
August 28, 1980 |
Riverview, Florida, U.S.
|Charge(s)||Lewd and lascivious battery|
House arrest (3 years)|
Probation (7 years)
|Spouse||Kristian Owen Lafave (divorced)|
Debra Jean Beasley, better known under her former married name of Debra Lafave, (born August 28, 1980) is an American former teacher at Angelo L. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to statutory rape charges stemming from her having sex with a 14-year-old student in the summer of 2004, when Lafave was 23 years old.
Early life and education
Lafave is a University of South Florida graduate. She maintained a high B average in college, and after graduation she landed a job teaching English at a middle school in Temple Terrace, Florida. After her first year of teaching, she married Owen Lafave in 2003.
Arrest and trial
Investigating officers pursued the case after being notified by the 14-year-old boy's mother. 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. Lafave pleaded guilty under the agreement and was sentenced to three years of Community Control (house arrest) and seven years of probation, along with various other requirements. There was widespread skepticism as to whether a man guilty of statutory rape would have received similar treatment.
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.
Commentators have claimed that the attention given to this particular case arises from Lafave's physical beauty. Provocative modeling photographs of Lafave have circulated on the Internet since she first gained notoriety.
During the case her defense attorney made headlines by remarking to the media that "to place Debbie into a Florida state women's penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions." In a book written by her ex-husband Owen Lafave, he suggests that this statement was an intentional ploy by the attorney.
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.
Debra Lafave was arrested on December 4, 2007, for violating her probation by speaking with a 17-year-old female restaurant coworker. The court ruled, however, that the violation was neither willful nor substantial, and did not revoke her probation.
Lafave's ex-husband appeared on numerous talk shows regarding how his then-wife's crime had affected their relationship. He is in the documentary After School, which focuses on teacher/student relationships.
- Sexual harassment in education
- Statutory rape
- Age of consent
- Pamela Rogers Turner
- Mary Kay Letourneau
- Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Shannon. Tampabay: Teacher considers plea deal in sex case, June 16, 2005. Accessed February 8, 2009.
- Lauer, Matt. Debra Lafave: Crossing the Line, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, September 13, 2006. Accessed June 26, 2010.
- Debra Lafave: Crossing the Line, Dateline NBC
- Tampa Bay Breaking News
- Krause, Thomas W. Lafave Signs Plea, Tampa Bay Online, November 23, 2005. Accessed July 15, 2008.
- Rondeaux, Candace. No jail time for Lafave, St. Petersburg Times, November 22, 2005. Accessed July 15, 2008.
- Fatal Beauty: 15 Most Notorious Women, E! Network, June 6, 2009.
- Hillsborough: Charges dropped against Lafave
- . http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/29/ap/national/main5453559.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody.[dead link]
- Wendy Cook (April 10, 2008). "Debra Lafave Sexy Photos Offer: Will Teacher Strip After Probation?". National Ledger. http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_272619977.shtml.
- Jon Shanks (April 10, 2008). "Racy Photos of Debra Lafave Hot Again After Teacher Gets Off". National Ledger. http://www.nationalledger.com/artman/publish/article_272619965.shtml.
- Gorgeous Disaster: The Tragic Story of Debra Lafave. Owen Lafave, September 2006. Publisher: Phoenix Books. ISBN 1597775347
- "Detective investigating Debra Lafave has also been arrested" WTSB-Tampa Bay News Report, 9/16/2005 
- Debra Lafave: ‘I crossed the line’, MSNBC, September 12, 2006. Accessed July 15, 2008.
- WTSP - Tampa Bay's 10 News. "Debra Lafave arrested today". December 4, 2007 
- Former teacher who had sex with student back in trouble, CNN, December 4, 2007. Accessed July 15, 2008.
- Debra Lafave at the Internet Movie Database
- CNN: Guilty of sex with student, teacher avoids prison
- NBC Interview with Matt Lauer
- The Smoking Gun
- Debra Beasley's Sexual Offender Information Flyer