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Officer pleads guilty in sex, drugs case

A Tampa police officer accused of providing teenage boys with marijuana and alcohol and having sex with one of them quietly pleaded guilty Tuesday to some of the charges.

Teresa A. Singleton, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of delivering a controlled substance to a minor and three counts of misdemeanor child abuse/contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

She also pleaded no contest to a single count of a lewd and lascivious act on a child less than 16 years old, a plea that reserves her right to appeal that charge.

Singleton joined the Tampa police force in 1986 and was suspended after her arrest in April. In investigative interviews, several teenagers said they thought Singleton's Northdale home was the place to go for drugs, sex and beer.

Court records said that on at least two occasions, she drove boys to public housing complexes to buy small amounts of marijuana. The youngest boy was 14, the oldest was 18, and all were from her neighborhood.

According to an interview in court records with a mother, Singleton would go by her home at night, go up to her boys' bedroom window and get them to leave with her. The boys said she might page them on their beepers or drive around until she found them.

Singleton had been scheduled for trial this week. Her pleas Tuesday were not part of an agreement with prosecutors. She had previously rejected a plea offer of a sentence of two years' house arrest, 10 years' probation and a formal finding of guilt on her record.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Barbara Fleischer said she may impose a similarsentence, although there are still questions about the possibility of jail time and a formal finding of guilt.

First, Fleischer said, she wants Singleton to be evaluated by a drug abuse expert and a psychologist. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 14.

A mother of two of the boys and a case detective both said at Tuesday's hearing that they would not ask for Singleton to be sentenced to jail. They did not elaborate.