wrong choices: An outbreak of teacher sex scandals
The prosecution described Stephanie Ragusa as a master manipulator who sexually preyed on the most vulnerable teenage boys. They asked for 10 years in prison followed by five years of sex offender probation.

The defense described a remorseful convert with no prior criminal history struggling with mental disorders she didn't know she had, a daughter whose life changed with the tragic death of her mother. They asked for probation and house arrest.

Circuit Judge Chet A. Tharpe sentenced her to the maximum according to a plea deal, 10 years in prison followed by five years of sex offender probation.

"You were a teacher," Tharpe said. "And as parents, we place our trust in teachers to provide a safe environment in which our children can learn. You violated that trust in the worst imaginable way. You preyed on these young boys."

[Times photos]
Debra Lafave coverage
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