Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Anyone She Wanted: The Sexual Offense of Debra Lafave

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M. M.'s mother was not about to let these insults to her son stand. In silhouette on MSNBC, she stated that Lafave was lying. Her son was not the responsible party. In addition, she reminded viewers that Lafave had never expressed remorse for what she had done — not even during this broadcast devoted entirely to her. "Sex offenders come in all shapes and sizes," she said.

Prosecutor Mike Sinacore, who had put the case together before a pleas deal was reached, indicated there was plenty of evidence that Lafave had "relentlessly pursued" the boy. He thought viewers should take what she had said "with a grain of salt."

Debra LaFave
Debra LaFave

Owen Lafave, who also commented, decided to get involved with a documentary, After School, about the psychology of female teachers who get involved with students. It addresses the wide range of victims, aside from just the children. He played himself in it, as per the IMDB site. Scheduled for release in May 2007, it was not available at this writing. In his book, Owen says, "The film will awaken, I hope, even shock the viewer. We want people to be aware of what's going on in their children's schools..."

Lafave did indeed get off lightly, although her teaching certificate was revoked. Because she was a pretty blond, the Internet was rife (and still is, in places) with chats about her indiscretion, including comments from many young males that they wished they had such a teacher. The double standards in judgments on this case were pronounced, and even she stated that she thought she should have gone to jail. Yet she received house arrest, found a job as a waitress, and became engaged. Not much of a price to pay, especially if there are repercussions down the line for her victim. Some experts say there could be.

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