Florida teacher Stephanie Peterson has pleaded guilty to having sex repeatedly with a 14-year-old male student and sending him nude pictures of herself through social media, according to People.
The 27-year-old teacher, who is married, was first accused of sleeping with the 14-year-old by the boy’s parents after he reportedly confided in them about their “relationship” which had started in November of last year.
Stephanie, who claims to have fallen in “love” with the boy, knew the then-eighth-grader for more than a year, having been his teacher previously as well. Since November 2017, she began picking him from his home late at night, which is when her husband would go to work. The boy would spend a few hours at Stephanie’s place, where, according to court documents, she would have sex with him. On other occasions, Peterson would also have sex with him in her car, and even in a barn behind the student’s house. This is believed to have lasted for a period of three months until January 2018.
Peterson also helped the boy get access to marijuana and purchased him bowls for smoking it.
Even after the boy’s parents got to know about what Stephanie was doing, they confronted her and tried to break off the relationship without involving the police. Peterson although never obliged.
“The parents got wind of it, and they confronted the teacher about breaking off the relationship. We believe sometime in January, they either resumed or continued the relationship. At that point, the family came to the police,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.
When Peterson realized the mother of the boy was finally going to the police, the Florida teacher sent desperate Snapchat messages to the boy.
“I hate you,” she wrote to the student after learning of his family’s intentions of filing a complaint. “So much.”
She also tried to ask the boy to pacify his mother.
“Please 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.”
“Delete everything,” she texted at the end.
After she was charged with the crime, Peterson finally pleaded guilty to one count of lewd or lascivious battery sex act with a child, a second-degree felony, as well as to one count of transmission of harmful material to minors by electronic means, a third-degree felony. If the case had gone to trial, the Florida teacher could have been sentenced to 15 years in prison. As it stands, Peterson could be sentenced anywhere between five to ten years in a prison.