The Debra Lafave sex scandal is a well-documented scandal in the United States of America. In 2004, it was reported that a 24-year-old, newly-married middle school teacher was arrested and charged with sexual intercourse with her student – a 14-year-old boy. This teacher was none other than the stunningly beautiful blonde Debra Lafave.
The former teacher has since returned to her maiden name Debra Beasley, as she was divorced from her then-husband Owen Lafave. The trial of her case left so many onlookers disappointed and dissatisfied with the way the case was decided and also with the subsequent verdict she received. Some, including her ex-husband, insisted that she deserved to spend time behind bars.
This article sheds some light on the scandal, brings you the details you may have missed, and takes a look at where Debra Lafave stands right now and how she managed to get her life back together to get out of this ugly episode.
Debra Lafave’s Biography
Debra Jean Beasley was born on August 28, 1980, in the US state of Florida. Debra LaFave (as she is commonly known) was found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor as a high school teacher. Nothing is known about her father, but her mother (whose name is not known) was diagnosed with cancer for the second time during her daughter’s trial.
The pretty blonde grew up with her family as a child and did not have it easy as she suffered from depression and trauma, including indigestion. She was even diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder. All this was accompanied by the fact that she was raped at the age of thirteen and also lost her older sister in sudden death after being killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
Debra Lafave attended Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Florida before going to the University of South Florida where she majored and graduated in English Literature because she always wanted to be a teacher. When she got her first job as a teacher after graduating from college, she was involved in a scandal that would keep her out of every classroom for the rest of her life.
After reading the brief introduction to this article, you may wonder how a beautiful married teacher, who is supposed to be a role model for the child under her care, turns into a devastating sex offender with a male student who was almost half her age at the time. It was in May 2004 when the problem came to light.
Debra Lafave had left with a 14-year-old boy whose name is not mentioned in the apartment of his cousin, who accompanied Lafave as his “girlfriend. However, it was not to end up as a mere visit, because the boy’s aunt (the mother of the cousin they were going to visit), who was probably not supposed to be at home on the day of the visit, was at home and saw her nephew with an older woman who was sexually dressed.
The sight upset her and she called her sister (the boy’s mother) and reported what she had seen, and when he returned home, his mother demanded to know who the woman was with him, and though he would not reveal her identity, he would eventually do so, and so the Tampa police were involved in the matter.
It was revealed that Debra Lafave, a teacher at Angelo L. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida, had had sexual intercourse with the student (a 14-year-old minor) at least three times in four days, including once in the back seat of a car driven around by his 15-year-old cousin. She had also had oral sex with the minor several times and even took him to her conjugal home in one of her sexual episodes.
At the time of this event, Debra Lafave was newly married to Owen Lafave, and their marriage was just one year old. She was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious assault in two cases and faced a possible 30-year prison sentence after her conviction for this offense.
However, the victim’s family never wanted her to spend time in prison because they were worried about the possible impact on their son (the publicity generated by the case had already had a negative impact on him). Therefore, she was offered a settlement in the criminal case, which would ensure that she could avoid a trial. The defense team accepted her, which meant that she was convicted and as such lost her teaching license.
Lafave was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006 – 7 years probation as a sex offender and 3 years of community service and house arrest. Conditions of parole included her registration as a sex offender, a restraining order to stay away from children, and an order to be home by 10 p.m. every day. Many observers believe that the punishment was far too lenient for the crime, while others argued whether a man would have received such a lenient punishment if the tables had been turned.
Her probation was terminated in September 2011 with four years left in court, much to the chagrin of the victim’s family, who appealed the decision. And so, one year later, in August 2012, her probation was reinstated by the 2nd District Court of Appeal. Debra Lafave, however, took the case to the Florida Supreme Court, and the court ruled in her favor two years later, in October 2014.
Married Life – New and Ex-Husband
Debra Lafave was married to her then-husband, Kristian Owen LaFave when her illicit sexual affair with a student at her school broke out. They were married on July 19, 2003, one year after she started teaching. However, after the scandal and her subsequent arrest in 2004, her marriage suffered and in 2005 she and Owen were divorced.
Owen talked about the scandal on several television shows and also hinted that he felt his ex-wife had been let off the hook so easily. But that didn’t stop the blue-eyed beauty from finding love again. She got engaged to Shawn Haverfield, a restaurant owner in Florida, and she had twin boys born in 2011 – for him. It is not clear whether they got married or not, but the relationship did not last long, because in 2016 they were on trial for custody of their children.
What is Debra Lafave Up To Now?
Lafave has tried to come back to life after her turbulent past. After the Florida Supreme Court ruling, she has retaken her maiden name – Beasley – and now lives again with her parents in Ruskin, where she helps them with their business and also takes care of their twins.
Since she can no longer be a teacher in a classroom or around minors, she has tried to get several jobs, including waitressing in a restaurant and also working as a receptionist. In the meantime, she has converted to Christianity but still has to deal with people who stare at her on the street and make nasty remarks.