Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

tough case to plea bargain

From the local bay area ABC affiliate:

"TAMPA - When a young Hillsborough County teacher was accused this summer of having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old student, many people's first reaction to the notorious case was, 'She's crazy.' Tuesday, Debra Lafave's attorney announced that his client would indeed be using an insanity defense.
Lafave, 24, is facing charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, stemming from accusations that the former Greco Middle School teacher had sex with the student both at school and in a car driven by the student's cousin in Ocala. "

I don't see how an insanity defense is going to work in this case. The alleged behavior was clearly planned out and is quite intricate and complex. However, with similar charges pending in two separate jurisdictions (with two different prosecutors), coming up with some sort of a plea bargain that did not involve some substantial incarceration would look to be a longshot.

"One factor the defense might use to invoke an insanity defense is the recent trauma Lafave's family has been through. Her pregnant sister was killed in a high-profile drunk driving accident three years ago, and Lafave was in court for that trial alongside the rest of her family, who also turned out for today's hearing."

Using the unfortunate incident involving her sister as an excuse for not behaving responsibly would certainly be dishonoring the sister's memory. One presumes none of the other family members were affected by that incident in a manner such that they became child sexual predators.


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