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Former Pasco teacher accused of sex with student now faces witness tampering charge


Ex-teacher Back in jail over sex with minor case

Former Pasco teacher Maryann Verdi, who is awaiting trial for allegedly having sex with a student, is now accused of sending a Facebook message to the teen, urging him to change his story. Verdi, 41, used a teenage girl's account to send a message to the 17-year-old boy on Facebook, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. "I found out that you lied about Verdi," the message said, according to the Sheriff's Office. "What the hell is wrong with you? You need to make this right." Verdi sent the message from her own computer at her home at 12319 Smokey Drive in Hudson, a report states. The teenage girl, who was visiting Verdi's house, told her contacting the victim "wasn't a good idea" but Verdi did it anyway, authorities said. When deputies confronted the girl about the message, she told them Verdi sent it. Verdi was arrested Monday while in court in New Port Richey at a hearing for the case, which has not been slated for trial. Circuit Judge Mary Handsel revoked Verdi's bail, so she is being held without bail at the Land O'Lakes jail. Verdi is charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor and tampering with a witness. Authorities said she first had sex with the boy in December 2009, when he was 15 and she was a teacher at River Ridge High School. The liaisons continued until last year, after Verdi transferred to Sunlake High School, authorities said.

In today's Times:

• New Port Richey police have received more than 100 tips from people about Roy Antigua, the man who had a large collection of fake IDs and uniforms for the military, law enforcement and other agencies, according to authorities. Now the investigation begins. Story, Section B

• Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp, the Zephyrhills High School science teacher who made national headlines after allegedly punishing misbehaving students with a "cone of shame" dog collar, will get a fresh start this fall at Pasco Middle School. Story, Section B

• Two men who broke into a Hudson home found the residents armed with a hunting knife and pair of nunchakus, ready to fight back, deputies say. Story, Page 3


Registration is now full and no walk-ups will be accepted for the Back to School Health Fair to be held Saturday at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey. To those already registered: An incorrect date for the fair was listed in Sunday's Back to School section. The fair is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Former Pasco teacher accused of sex with student now faces witness tampering charge 08/07/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 9:04pm]
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