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Tampa teacher in sex case defied court orders, authorities say

TAMPA — After two arrests on sex charges, former Davidsen Middle School teacher Stephanie Marie Ragusa had orders to stay away from the two boys she is accused of victimizing.

No conversations, no text messages. Certainly no more sex.

In court records Tuesday — a day after Ragusa, 29, was jailed a third time since March — prosecutors detailed how she disobeyed those orders.

One victim told detectives that Ragusa continued to call, text-message and have sex with him — even after she was arrested April 15 for encounters that began when he was 15.

A Hillsborough sheriff's detective spotted Ragusa leaving that boy's Town 'N Country home Monday. The teen, now 16, later told them that he and Ragusa had just had sex, according to court records.

A 17-year-old witness gave detectives video footage he took with his cell phone of Ragusa kissing the teen. He told detectives it sounded like they had sex in the boy's bedroom.

No one answered the door or phone at the witness' Westchase home Tuesday. A woman at the victim's home said detectives had instructed the family not to discuss the case.

Ragusa remains at the Orient Road Jail. Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke her bail, but the hearing was postponed until Friday.

Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett spoke briefly with Ragusa.

"Do you fully understand what you've been arrested for?" he said.

"Yes," she replied.

Ragusa posted bail after her initial arrests. Her brazen disregard for the terms of her release concerned prosecutors.

"We feel that to protect our community, she needs to remain behind bars," Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Tampa teacher in sex case defied court orders, authorities say 04/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:02pm]
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