Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Female Sex Offenders

Feeling Beautiful

Then she chaperoned a field trip to Sea World, and the boy with whom she got involved was in her group. He'd already noticed her, she said, and became flirtatious. In addition to liking the attention, she did not feel much like an adult, although she had been a teacher for two years. She seemed to think she was not altogether responsible, but then she admitted to Lauer that she had "crossed a line that should've never been crossed."

It wasn't just sex, either. She seemed to become inappropriate in many areas, including substance abuse. She claims she felt confident and beautiful, and she wasn't about to stop what she was doing. She felt invincible. Finally she told the boy she could not stop thinking about him, an obvious open door for him. In her own classroom, she kissed him. Not long afterward, he approached her with a friend and forced her against the wall, exposing her breast to the other boy. She claims she tried to stop him, but his story was that she willingly flashed him.

Soon thereafter, Lafave drove one hundred miles to pick him up for oral sex, making her side of the story difficult to accept. She apparently thought other rape victims — and only rape victims — would understand. She also blamed her father for not being emotionally engaged with her. Apparently she believed this was an appropriate excuse.

Debra Lafave
Debra Lafave

It wasn't long before she had a sexual encounter with the boy in her classroom, after school was over. Then they carried on sexually while the boy's cousin drove her car. By now her husband suspected her of having an affair. Despite all of this, Lafave insisted that she was a "modest" woman. She also said she was in a fog and never considered the possibility that other boys who knew about this affair were telling people. "I felt that I was a peer of theirs," she said. She also mitigated her offense by stating that 14-year-olds today are different than when she was 14. Her lack of insight is telling, and many viewers were probably relieved to learn that she is now a registered sex offender who will not be allowed to work with children again. The boy said Lafave was aware that what she was doing was wrong. In fact, the wrongness was erotic for her.   

Her final words to Lauer were that, despite the label, "I am not a sex offender." She's just a woman who made a bad choice.

Lafave got off lightly, although her teaching certificate was revoked. Because she was a pretty blond, the Internet was rife with chats about her indiscretion, including comments from many young males who wished they had such a teacher. One Internet site asks visitors to vote on which of the teacher-predators is the "hottest." The double standard in judgments on this case were pronounced, and even Lafave believed she should have gone to jail. Yet she ended up with a job as a waitress and a new relationship.

The next case involves an equally stunning woman, but this one also exposed her inamorato to graphic images. Some experts have referred to this kind of seduction tactic as an "erototoxin."

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