TAMPA, Fla. - A female teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old student, avoiding prison as part of a plea agreement.Three observations:
Debra Lafave, 25, will serve three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. [...]
[Her lawyer] said in July that plea negotiations had broken off because prosecutors insisted on prison time, which he said would be too dangerous for someone as attractive as Lafave. He said then that she planned to plead insanity at trial, claiming emotional stress kept her from knowing right from wrong.
1. My guess is that it is not at all rare for 25-year-old teachers to get busted for sexual entanglements with 14-year old students. What is instead rare is for it to make national news. It's interesting that the reason that this particular case has made the national news is so plain: not just because it is a female teacher and a male student, but because it's a really attractive young female teacher and a male student. How often do you have a news story play so blatantly off the idea that there are all kinds of guys out there who will read this story and feel envious of the crime victim? I can only imagine the comments being made In The Company Of Men in bars across the country when this woman is shown on TV and the newscaster announces she's been "convicted of lewd and lascivious battery..." (No, I am not one of these men.)
I just Googled her name and see that, in addition to various fan sites, she also has her own Wikipedia entry.
2. My understanding is that there is already ample evidence suggesting that attractive people get off with lighter sentences for crimes, but it's refreshing to see someone trying try to make the argument directly as opposed to hoping that psychological/pheromonal biases go their way.
3. If she would have managed to get the insanity defense to fly with a jury for this, that would prove beyond all reasonable doubt that attractive people's lives follow entirely separate laws of social physics from those that govern the rest of us.