(TAMPA) – A few hours after an Ocala judge refused to accept a plea deal, Marion County prosecutors announced that they were dropping all charges against Debra Lafave, the former middle school teacher accused of sexual assault of a student nearly two years ago.
‘The court may be willing to risk the victim’s well being in this case in order to force it to trial, I am not,” said Ric Ridgway, chief assistant state attorney in Marion County.
Earlier Tuesday, Marion County Judge Hale R. Stancil had rejected a plea deal that would have spared Lafave jail time in exchange for pleading guilty.
‘Accepting the proposed plea agreement would undermine the credibility of this court, and the criminal justice system as a whole, and would erode public confidence in our schools,’ Judge Stancil wrote in the order released Tuesday.
Marion County prosecutors then decided to drop the charges.”
Prosecutors agreed to the plea bargain after the family of the victim implored them to find a way for the now 16-year-old boy to avoid what was destined to become a media circus. LaFave had faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
You can bet that if this had been a male and we were talking about a sexual charge against a female the prison bars would be hitting him in the ass about now. I guess the prosecutor wanted to spare the boy at his mother’s request from the embarrasment. In the meantime Ms. Lafave speaks to the media like she is a victim of her “illness” never once mentioning she is a convicted sex offender on house arrest for three years. Want to bet she will be embarking on a new career making the late night talk show tours after writing a book about her “illness” while under “arrest and rehab” for three years??