Court Testimony Difficult Issue For Teacher Sex Victims


Testifying is often healthy for crime victims, but a psychiatrist told a judge it could be devastating for a Florida teen who says he had sex with his former English teacher, Debra Lafave, reports the Tampa Tribune. Lafave, 25, has pleaded guilty but a judge has indicated that he will not approve a plea deal that would avoid prison time. Judge Hale Stancil said a serious penalty is warranted because “for nearly eight hours a day, nine months a year, we give teachers our trust.”

If the guilty plea is withdrawn and the case goes to trial, the 14-year-old boy involved in the case would be required to testify. Bonnie Bucqueroux of the Victims and the Media Program at Michigan State University said sexual assault victims often are reluctant to press charges or testify because of the media attention and society’s reaction real or imagined. “I think people are increasingly privacy conscious in our society as we have less and less of it,” she said. “They are really concerned about having their private lives splashed all over the local media.”


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