Teachers, sex, problems
Stephanie Ragusa isn't on myfloridateacher.com. But more than 30 other local teachers accused of sexual wrongdoing in some form or fashion are.
As a Sunday St. Petersburg Times story pointed out, the state's Web site on teacher misconduct lists all types of cases, not just those involving inappropriate or allegedly inappropriate relationships with students. But given the persistent wave of such cases around Tampa Bay – Ms. Ragusa, for example, made headlines again today – the Gradebook decided to cull those involving teachers and sex.
Of 170 local cases posted to date, about 30 fit that description. Some involve students; some do not. Some are recent; some are not. A few made headlines; many did not. There can be a lag of two years or more between the time an incident occurred and when state officials take action on a teacher's teaching certificate, so cases like Ms. Ragusa's may not show up on the state database for a while.
The following list is based solely on records in the state's database. Every case resulted in state sanctions, but some also resulted in settlement agreements in which the teachers neither admitted nor denied allegations.
To read more about the allegations in individual cases, or to see what sanctions were handed down, go to www.myfloridateacher.com.
- Countryside High: Social science teacher Robert David Mclean pleads guilty to voyeurism in April 2007. Final order filed in March 2008.
- Mildred Helms Elementary: Teacher Charles Alvin Middleton arrested in September 2005 for exposure of sexual organs in a public park. In September 2006 the charge was dismissed following completion of pre-trial intervention program. Final order filed in October 2007.
- Dixie Hollins High: Teacher Carrie Lee Eastman allegedly engaged in sexual relationship with 18-year-old male student in fall 2003. Final order filed in October 2007.
- Riviera Middle: During 2002-03 school year, teacher Daniel Jacob Crane reported to have "repeatedly made crass, degrading comments to students or staff in the presence of others that often included sexual innuendo inappropriate for a middle school setting." Among other things, Crane reportedly referred to female students as "lesbians," "hookers," "prostitutes," "strippers" and "Hooter's girls"; discussed masturbation with his class; and "repeatedly, constantly and obsessively ‘eyed' females, whether students, staff or mothers or students." Final order filed in May 2007.
- Northeast High: Science teacher Paul Greenleaf reportedly accessed pornographic material on his school-issued computer on numerous occasions during 2002-03 school year. Final order filed in September 2006.
- San Jose Elementary: PE teacher Michael R. Hazel allegedly had intimate sexual relationship with a minor female student and provided the student with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during 1982-83 school year. Final order filed in August 1999.
- North Ward Elementary: Kindergarten teacher Herbert A. Hauenstein pled no contest in April 1998 to exposure of sexual organs in case involving masturbation in public park. Final order filed in March 1999.
- Osceola Middle School: Guidance counselor Thomas McAlexander pled guilty in August 1994 for committing lewd and lascivious act in presence of child under age of 16. Final order filed in January 1996.
- Highland Lakes Elementary: Fourth grade teacher Richard Traylor was arrested and charged with seven counts of handling and fondling female child under age of 16 and four counts of battery in May 1993. In March 1994, he was adjudicated not guilty. Final order filed in October 1998.
- Dunedin High: Music Director Raymond Markett made sexual advances to female minor student in 1977 and to another minor student in 1981. Pled guilty to unlawful carnal intercourse in 1994. Final order filed in September 1994.
- Meacham Alternative School: Teacher Kevin Rohan Thorpe allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual relationship with 18-year-old female student during 2005-06 school year. Final order issued in March 2008.
- Leto High: Biology teacher David Paul Chandler reportedly had inappropriate relationship with minor female student during 2004-05 school year that included overnight trips, kissing, hugging. Final order filed in December 2007.
- Young Middle Magnet: Teacher Edward E. Ziesmer pleads no contest to voyeurism in April 2005. Final order filed in October 2007.
- Sickles High: Ninth-grade teacher Timothy Arthur McGunningle is accused of making inappropriate to students in 2004 and 2005, including detailing his first sexual encounter; asking students to detail their sexual experiences; asking a female student what color her nipples were; and telling his class that "when he was young three other males put a screwdriver up his rear." Final order filed in September 2007.
- Pierce Middle: Music teacher Harry James Williamson is charged with solicitation of another to commit prostitution in August 2005, and pleads no contest to amended charge of disorderly conduct in December 2005. Final order filed in June 2007.
- Greco Middle: Teacher Debra Lafave is adjudicated guilty in November 2005 of two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on child under 16. Final order filed in June 2006.
- Hillsborough teacher Louis Sastre is charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution in July 2004; in July 2004, he entered misdemeanor pre-trial intervention program. Final order filed in April 2006.
- East Bay High: Community school administrator Richard C. Garrett reportedly hugged and attempted to kiss minor female student in May 2003. Final order filed in February 2006.
- Hillsborough High: Journalism teacher Randolph S. Sonnenburg is charged with possession of child pornography in February 1997. His students reportedly found sexually explicit materials and/or computer images in the classroom. Final order issued in January 1999.
- Dunbar Elementary: Music teacher James F. Reciniello is accused of inappropriately touching some of his female students during 1994-95 school year. Pled guilty to lewd and lascivious acts upon child under 16 in 1995. Final order filed in October 1996.
- Hillsborough High: English teacher Lorine E. Reynolds allegedly entered into sexual relationship with minor male student. Final order filed in September 1996.
- Bing Elementary: Teacher Craig Bevan accused of grabbing female student in vaginal area in 1993. Final order filed in June 1995.
- James W. Mitchell High: Driver education teacher William Napolitano pleads no contest to solicitation for prostitution in 2004. Final order filed in April 2007.
- Pine View Middle: Teacher Lin Joseph Bly pleads no contest to possession of child pornography in September 2005. Final order filed in March 2006.
- Gulf High: Business education teacher Howard A. Beck pleads no contest in September 1997 to indecent exposure after sexually propositioning undercover police office and masturbating in public. Final order filed in March 1999.
- Stewart Middle School: Teacher Woods J. Pepperman allegedly touched female students on buttocks, breasts, shoulders and backs during 1987-88 and 1988-89 school years. Final order filed in July 1989.
- D. S. Parrott Middle: Daniel Ray Madril arrested for voyeurism in March 2005 after incident in which he allegedly situated himself in ceiling over female coaches' office, women's restroom and girls' locker room and showers. He later entered into pre-trial diversion program. Final order filed in March 2008.
- Hernando High: Language arts teacher Jacob Peter Overdurff allegedly tells female student via e-mail during 2006-07 school year that he has feelings for her 17-year-old best friend. Final order filed in December 2007.
- Deltona Elementary: Title I teacher Douglas A. Latta accused of making inappropriate comments to fellow teachers during 2003-04 school year, including telling one (in the words of the complaint) "she had a body that would get a man of any age going." Final order filed in December 2006.
- West Hernando Middle: Social studies teacher Dennis L. Morrissey is charged in June 2004 with lewd and lascivious molestation of a female student. In March 2005, he pleads guilty to lesser offense of felony child abuse. Final order filed in July 2006.
- Powell Middle: Social studies teacher Gregory Peter Cross allegedly engaged in inappropriate and improper conduct by taking photos of female students and staff members without their knowledge or consent in January 2005 and displaying the photos to other staff members as examples of perceived dress code violations. In February 2005, he allegedly presented a slide show to his 11-year-old students which contained a slide of a female with exposed breasts. Final order filed in April 2006.
- Central High: Social studies teacher James Alan Jensen allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature with a minor female student during 2003-04 school year. Final order filed in August 2005.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter