Sex mad female teacher who romped with student, 14, should be let off because lad ‘really wanted it’, lawyers say
Stephanie Peterson, 27, also sent the pupil lewd messages and photos, while claiming she fell in love with him.
Peterson has admitted she had sex with an eighth-grader in her car and gave him oral sex in her home and in a barn behind his home between November 2017 and last January.
The New Smyrna Beach Middle School, Florida, teacher has pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious battery sex act with a child and electronic transmission of material harmful to minors.
Peterson could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted of at trial, but she now faces between five and 10 years behind bars when she’s sentenced next week.
Her lawyer William Hathaway has previously said that she deserves less than five years.
According to court documents obtained by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Peterson’s attorneys will be allowed to seek a lesser sentence for the disgraced former teacher.
One of the reasons they cited is that the teen victim was a “willing participant” in the sexual assaults.
Peterson is expected to make a plea for leniency to the court and her attorneys are expected to call up to 16 witnesses to testify on her behalf.
A motion filed to the court requesting a lighter sentence said that she’s already lost her teaching career as a result of her actions, as well as her standing in the community.
The teenager and Peterson got to know each other after she lent him her mobile so he could check his Instagram account.
Peterson later sent him a message from his own account after he left himself signed in, according to court documents.
The pair then continued communicating via Snapchat before Peterson sent the teen nude pictures, including one from inside a shower.
Her relationship with the pupil came to light after his mum found out about the romps and messages, leading Peterson to panic that the police were going to be contacted.
The former teacher wrote to the teen: “So she’s planning on doing something with it.”
In another message, Peterson wrote: “Pleas [sic] tell her it was the worst decision of my life and I know it was and idk where my brain was but that I somehow fell in love with you briefly and idk why and I’ll never be the same person because of it.”
She later asked the teen if she should speak to his mother in a last-ditch effort to prevent the police from getting involved.
Peterson later begged him to “delete everything” in reference to the messages and photos but was arrested by deputies in Volusia County, Florida in February.
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