Erica Ann Ginnetti was caught having sex with a 17-year-old student, but the Philadelphia high school teacher is getting off light after a judge said he “didn’t believe she was a bad human being” for the indiscretion.
Ginnetti, a 35-year-old wife and mother of three, was an AP calculus teacher at Lower Moreland High School in 2013 when she was caught having sex with one of her students. Ginnetti said the relationship began after she talked to the boy at a school dance and began flirting with him. The relationship progressed, with Ginnetti exchanging phone calls and texts with the boy and eventually sending naked pictures of herself.
In the summer of 2013, Erica Ann Ginnetti and the student drove to an industrial park on the outskirts of Philadelphia and had sex.
Police eventually found out about the relationship, discovering several texts setting up their tryst including one that mentioned “a used condom that had been left in Ginnetti’s vehicle,” police reports showed. On the night they had sex, Ginnetti reportedly sent a text to the victim asking him to “do it again.”
After being found guilty, Ginnetti was hit with three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and will have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years. But when it came time to sentence her to jail, Montgomery County Court Judge Garrett D. Page gave her just 30 days. Ginnetti had asked the judge to keep her out of jail so she could care for her three small children, and Page largely agreed, saying that she was not a bad person but had to pay for her bad act.
“One bad day because of sexual hunger has resulted in all this avalanche of harm,” Page said.
In court, Ginnetti read a letter of apology and wept, telling the victim’s family she hoped to give him “closure for this nightmare.” The prosecution said the boy’s grades dropped during his senior year and he struggled with social interactions, adding that Ginnetti did not recognize the effect the relationship would have on the young boy.
“I would say that she treated her relationship with this student as she would have treated a relationship with an adult with whom she was involved,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman told The Mercury News in January.
In addition to spending 30 days in jail, former teacher Erica Ann Ginnetti is forbidden from having unsupervised contact with any minors other than her children. Ginnetti told the court she is starting a new career as a fitness instructor.
[Image via Lower Moreland Police]