Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pinky-promise love - Latourneau, LaFave, and Huggins

If you see your brother standing by the road With a heavy load, from the seeds he sowed And if you see your sister falling by the way Just stop and say, you're goin' the wrong way.

Glenn Campbell, "Try a little kindness"

Link: - Owen Lafave, Husband of Florida Teacher Accused of Having Sex with 14-Year-Old Student Speaks Out.

KING: Is it true that one of your men, the ushers at your wedding warned you? LAFAVE: Not me directly, no. This is something I found out after she was arrested. Two of my groomsmen actually went to my mother the night before we were married and asked my mother to stop the wedding. KING: Because? LAFAVE: Because they thought she was wrong for me. KING: Have you spoken to them since? LAFAVE: Sure. Sure. I'm in contact with them all the time. KING: And what do they say? LAFAVE: They just -- you know, they thought that she was not the right girl for me, they thought I was making a mistake. They still feel it was the right decision to go to my mother. And my mother said to me at the time, said if you're really a true friend, you need to stand by his side and see him through the wedding as well as the relationship.

TAMPA, FL (AP) -- Phone conversations between a Florida teacher and the 14-year-old student she allegedly had sex with were made public Thursday. The boy's voice was altered to protect his identity. Debra Lafave is charged with having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student she met while chaperoning a school field trip.

Police said she had multiple sexual encounters with the boy. Portions of recorded phone conversations between Lafave and the student were released. The calls were monitored by police.

"I'm a little worried," the boy said during one call.

"Why?" Lafave responded.

"I just didn't want to get you pregnant or anything. I was just thinking about it, ... how we've had sex about three times and I should've used like a condom or something," the boy said.

"You're being weird," Lafave said on the tape.

This audio was recorded after the alleged victim had been working with authorities.

LaFave: I told Owen everything. Boy: About what? LaFave:, no, no...chill! I just said that, um... I pretty much just told 'em the whole story, except, you know, why we went to Ocala. He actually gave me advice on what to say to your mom.

(Boy's audio in track one is largely unintelligible because of the added distortion and her reactions don't make much sense without the context of what he's saying.)

LaFave: "Did you miss me last night?" Boy: Yep. What can we do this time, do you think? LaFave: I'll be thinking, I'm going to think aboiut it. Boy: Okay. LaFave: What? Boy: I said, all right. LaFave: Okay. Boy: All right. Well, I guess I'll talk to you later. LaFave: Okay, honey.

LaFave: "I'm gonna go grocery shopping later. Boy: Oh really? LaFave: Yeah, why? Boy: Nothin'. My dad cancelled for the weekend but my mom said I'm grounded so I can't doing anything. LaFave: Really? Boy: Yeah.

LaFave: "You couldn't pay me money to have a kid...right now." Boy: "So, do you have any plans for Monday? LaFave: "Umm...nope, I don't think so." Boy: "You want to try and do something Monday? LaFave: "Yeah, that's cool!" Boy: All right, because I'm grounded for the rest of the weekend. You could probably pick me up at the Rec. LaFave: Okay. So how--how-how did everything end up? Is everything okay right now? Boy: Uh-huh.

LaFave: "Positive?...'Cause I'm scared, I don't want, you know.... Boy: Yeah, I'm positive. LaFave: "I mean, I just...I know you wouldn't, you know, do it unless you were sure. I mean, we were just so close last time, you know. Boy: Yeah. LaFave: You sure, sure? Boy: Yeah. LaFave: You wouldn't lie to me, would you? Boy: No. LaFave: No. What? Boy: Why are you saying that? LaFave: I don't know, I'm just scared. It was a little freaky last time. And you're really dead set on, you know, taking a break. Boy: Well, I just wanted...I just wanted to see you. I thought you wanted to see me, too."
Mike Sinacor, the prosecutor in the case, told FOX News that the calls — said to be made by the boy at the request of authorities probing the allegations — could be useful in determining LaFave's state of mind.

LaFave is expected to use the insanity defense when the case goes totrial in April.

The pair hooked up and had sex several times in June, in a portable classroom and in the back of her SUV while his older cousin drove, according to officials.

In his statement - which is written in the childish scrawl of a young teen - the victim revealed how he became entangled in an affair with the comely teacher.

"She told me that she had feeling for me," he wrote. "She told me that she was thinking about me a lot and had feeling for me [and] she didn't know what to do with them.

"We did not have sex until Monday June 14," he added. "On Monday she asked me to help her clean out her portable [classroom at the school]. We had sex for he first time."

One charging document released yesterday described their first encounter. It said Lafave approached the boy as he sat on a couch that decorated her portable classroom.

Wearing terry-cloth pants and thong panties, the married Lafave allegedly sidled up next to him and asked him if he wanted to have sex. The 14-year-old told her that he did.

But that was only the beginning of the seduction. "While he was sitting on the couch, she straddled him, facing and asked him if he was sure," said the document, produced by the Marion County, Fla., Sheriff's Department. He said yes." After that, the pair had subsequent relations, and the teen believed that Lafave had real feelings for him. She drove him to basketball games and even gave him a keepsake key chain that had a pewter butterfly pendant similar to her belly-button ring. It was inscribed with the word "Hope" on the back.

Glenn Campbell's paean to judgemental rubbernecking overlooks the recoil of having one's life choices poor mouthed. There's nothing conducive to circling the wagons quite like having your friends say, "She isn't much of a looker, is she?" Or, "You want her to be the mother of your children?"

Still, it's cold comfort to realize the only winner here was the victim, seared, seared, by sexual trysts with Barbie incarnate. He can make common cause with Tammie Lee Huggins' victim who, after having been statutorily raped fifteen or twenty times by his young teacher, said he was "devastated, agitated, distraught." Retroactive devastation is nothing more than claiming rape when the john's check bounces.

Love is persistent, though. Mary Kay Latourneau continued sneaking letters and tapes out of prison in violation of no contact orders with her victim-now-companion. For punishment, she spent more time in segregated lockdown - the "hole" - than any inmate in the prison's recent history. The net effect was nothing.

As the US Supreme Court tramples the vintage where the grapes of double standards are stored, will the bulwark of sex differentiated punishment for statutory rape remain erect? The ongoing flood of pinky-promise love may tell.

Next -- Debra LaFave: Epilogue

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Audio Guide to the Birth of Venus

Inspired by McSweeney.*

This is Botticelli's Birth of Venus. Do you think the pagan Venus is pretty? You're supposed to. She represents beauty's arrival in the world. But look how her arm hangs like her shoulder is broken. And her neck is really too long, don't you think? I really don't know what guys see in the little floozy. I think she's equal parts soft porn and Robert Tilton. Venus on the Half Shell, indeed.

Look at the old guy sitting on the bench in front of the BOV. The one with the sack lunch and catcher's mitt in his lap. He doesn't have an audio but looks blissful anyway. What's that all about?

With the snarly guard and roped-off viewing area, the only way to see Venus up close is to buy your very own BOV wrist watch at the gift shop. What, you think that is low class for an art museum? Where do you think the old guy got the catcher's mitt? It's you conservative types who first bitch about taxpayer art funding then look down your noses at bleached peanut husk renderings of The Thinker, for sale by the six-pack.

Let's go to the next painting. I have a headache.

*McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Audio Guide to the Greatest Masterpieces of All Time, Assembled in One Place

Plop Fiction

Inspired by McSweeny.*

Back in the old days, theater goers wouldn't be stacked up and orbiting the movie house waiting to get in to the next show. Ticketed and popcorned, we'd walk right into the dark auditorium, straightaway bumping into things while other things were taking place on the screen. It was amazing how much better you could see after ten minutes in your seat.

Anyway, we didn't always get there in time to see the start of the movie, and sometimes couldn't figure out what was going on. The thing was, this rarely detracted from the enjoyment of the movie. I suppose we've come back around to that in a way with pics like Pulp Fiction, Momentoes, and Mulholland Drive, where you can't understand what you saw until you get home. In the case of Mulholland Drive, without the internet to provide a walkthrough, you still don't.

My DJ is like that. It's a short read where you're plopped down with the feeling you must have arrived a little late. Funny thing is, the matter-of-fact graininess of the writing is so unsurreal, it doesn't matter. Actually, maybe coming in late helps. There's something to be said for friendly bewilderment. Here's a clip. It's the very beginning. For more, go to McSweeney's and tell them you're over 17.

I have to take the bus to the doctor's office because some drunk rear-ended me last week on my way home from an after-bar. It's morning rush hour, so of course my DJ and I have to stand. He doesn't have a stable surface to set his turntables on, so his records keep skipping all over the place.
So what do you think? Shall we watch the rest of it? Why not. My feet are stuck to the floor anyway, and it's not from weeks of spilled Pepsis. *McSweeney's Internet Tendency: My DJ

A Critical Review

Powered by audblog"A Critical Review"

Boomer Top Ten

The Hollies-The Air that I Wheeze
Vikki Carr-It Must be Phlegm
Donna Summer-I Feel Lump
Frank Ifield-I Remember You?
Johnny Horton-Withering Pines
Linda Ronstadt-Love is a Robe
Mickey & Sylvia-Love is Strained
Frankie Lane-Lay-Z-Boys in the Sky
Christina Aguilera-Our Day, We'll Gum
Glen Campbell-By the Time I Get to Finish

Intellectual Poverty

Raised income levels qualify
More and more as povertized--
We drop the expectations
Of their public education
So they become less able
To keep food on the table--
Thereby their income stays, you see,
Down in the pool of poverty.
A few of those climb out, so then
The limits must be raised again
And schools asked to do less for them
Who can't eat self-esteem.

Rockin' Oldies

February 14, 1964. Rockin' Oldies. Nag's Head Beach

Not Noir, Not Ever, Never!

A collaborative short story by Cathryn Crawford and Gary Cruse


Cathryn was grateful for the brief puff of coolness that carried the thin curtain straining against unforgiving curtain rods into the darkening parlor, watched as the tattered edges rose silently then fell back against the sill, waiting for a new breath of evening comfort to thicken the condensation on a half-empty mint julep glass. The Victrola labored with a soft grinding sound from hours and hours of use as Ruth Etting wafted from its varnished wooden sound horn.

"Button up your overcoat,
When the wind is free,
Take good care of yourself,
You belong to me."

As she sat in quiet contemplation of the heat that enveloped the entire room, nay, her entire world, she slowly ran her finger around in the dust of the never polished oak desk at which she sat. As she did, the music and the words that she wrote formed a simple sort of medley that ran rampant in her head. The musty smell of the aging parlor only added to the feeling of timelessness that was seeping into her bones.

Maybe she knew he was coming and had just forgotten, or maybe Cathryn wanted to punish Brent for some unintended slight, but even though she recognized the timidity of his light rap on her door, her hand dropped off the edge of the correspondence desk onto a crystal faceted knob drawer pull. The drawer gave no resistance and she pulled it out, her glance seeking out the 1911 model Colt pistol as her hand wrapped around the ivory grip in a practiced single motion.

"Brent? Is that you?" and she pulled back the hammer.

"Yes, it's me", said Brent, as he came into the room with the easy charm that she had once admired and now loathed. He walked to her and as she watched him the hand that lay on the desk clinched unknowingly, leaving skin-colored grooves in the once unmarred oak. After an interminable period of time, she forced herself to relax and the shaking in her hands stopped. She stood, the hand holding the gun tucked carefully behind her, and slowly turned to meet Brent.

"Cath, I...I've done something terrible," Brent managed to choke out between his now unruly lips. "My brother Lester has been gambling money from the bathtub gin business and now he owes his bookie fifty thousand dollars."

"What does that have to do with me, Brent?" But the slowly spreading ball of cold fury in the pit of her stomach was triggering adrenaline and a trembling trigger finger that portended something worse than rash. "I told him that I'd get him the money by selling you into white slavery. You'd do that for me, old gal, wouldn't you? Remember all the good times we had? Be a pal."

Cathryn could not believe the idiocy that poured from Brent. He was usually so suave, so charming, and now he was sputtering foolishness.

"Brent, you mindless fool," she growled. "I don't give a damn about your foolish brother. You know I've detested him since that night that he spilt that frothy drink down the back of my $6000 Valentino. Let him get himself out of his own mess." As she spoke the words through gritted teeth she tightened her grip on the gun, its pearly handle smooth in her grasp.

Sam Rico strained to hear more as he pressed the yielding tips of his stethoscope into his downy ears and positioned the metal disc onto the wall, tuning the faded wallpaper like a crystal radio set, pulling in the sound of the conversation in the next room.

"Listen, old sport," Brent's voice was getting louder as it dawned on him that Cathryn was mistaking him for Elvis Walloon, the slick sheik at the Kozy Kitty Klub who had dumped a drink down Cathryn's Valentino during the Charleston competition that ended tragically in Selma losing all her hair.

"You can help me out or go to...."

In a paroxysm of fury, Cathryn's hand jerked, sending the hammer home.

With a vicious report, the Colt fired a shot behind her, puncturing the thin wallboard and travelling most of the way through Sam's skull. Was this the end of the great Rico?

Cathryn stood with her finger still on the trigger of the gun. The smell of the gunblast filled the room as she realized what she had nearly done in her anger. Instead of the fear that should have filled her, however, she felt a crowning sense of triumph as she saw the shock on Brent's face.

"Did you think I wouldn't do it, Brent?" she hissed, as she turned to look behind her at the hole the small bullet had left in the wall.

"What if I had been pointing the other direction?"

At this, with a look of fear mixed with respect, Brent turned and hurried from the room. Cathryn turned and walked back to the desk, allowing her hand to drop to the receiver of the sleek black phone. She picked it up and dialed unhurriedly. When the voice on the other end finally came through, she quietly said, "Come get me."

The Singer, The Song

A Progressive Tale by Cathryn Crawford and Gary Cruse

Clanging engine bells blended with the hubbub of goodbyes, and rolling baggage carts noisily provided a chorus to the warm night air's oily smells of asphalt and greased bearings. The train station ambience stayed with him up the steel steps leading onto the car vestibule until Wilson opened the surprisingly heavy door into the dimly lit passenger car, then let it close behind him with a thud. The silence was immediate.

There was something to boarding the night train that made him think of changing worlds, being temporarily forgiven all humiliations in his past, a holiday from the embarrassment of himself.

No sound reached him now beyond the whirring of overhead electric fans, an incessant background reminding him of nothing so much as ever present insects buzzing in the air, on the ground, in the trees, in the tent, around your ears, that were a constant of his in-country Viet Nam days.

The smell was everywhere. It was the mustiness of old curtains in older theaters, faint, comforting, anxious to be drawn back, eager for the performance.

The worn, stiff carpet muffled his footfalls as Wilson searched the plush seats for one without a slumping, rumpled sleeper. Another existence this was, he thought, a chance to begin again among strangers who would be strangers again soon enough. A chance to live an authentic life for a day or so, to experiment anew with first impressions, no past, no future. Already, 'outside the train' had ceased to exist in the darkness.

The eternal now, like billowing smoke, entered the coach with him and extinguished any reality save this sealed zephyr.

Part 2

Rebecca shifted slightly in her seat as she half-heartedly listened to her niece singing Bella Marie' at the front of the night club. She was an amazing talent, but her talent was, indeed, less than her aunt's. Rebecca couldn't bring herself to sing again, and as she listened to the rich tones of her niece's soprano voice, she regretted it. It wasn't as though she couldn't sing again. The talent was there - always would be - but the simple power that she had once had over a crowd, that ability to simply hold sway, was gone. She ran her hands over her skirt, smoothing the navy silk skirt.

Even her taste in clothes had changed in these last few sullen years. She used to dress fashionably, with care and with the colors that brought out her beauty. Now she had to bring herself to even brush her hair. As she watched the flame of the candle flicker on the round table at which she sat, she wished that the flame would simply burn her up - perhaps then she would be free from the despair that dogged her so persistently.

Part 3

As Wilson's eyes acclimated to the dim passenger car, what seemed to be the last empty seat became visible. Near the window and across a small white haired man, oriental from the looks of him. Wilson began working his way past the old gentleman's extended legs, when the car lurched as the departing steam engine snapped out the slack between the car couplings, one at a time. Unprepared for the jolt, Wilson fell back and onto the old man. Or rather through him.

Gasping first in aggravation for falling, then in astonishment for plummeting right through the unsolid apparition, then in horror at the icy coldness of the seat beneath, Wilson recoiled and slammed his back against the window. He stood frozen, uncomprehending, remotely aware of the lights streaming past as the train gathered speed, visible through the windows, and increasingly, the sides of the car itself. Eventually, he composed himself enough to gingerly reach out and touch the old man, only to see his fingers disappear into what would have been a shoulder.

A similar examination of some of the other passengers revealed they, too, were not of earthly substance. By this time, lights were streaking from front to rear, clearly visible through the ceiling and floor of the passenger car. I have to get out, he thought, as he headed for the heavy outer door.

The handle turned easily in his grasp. He pulled the door open and stepped out into the vestibule to a riotous phantasm of swirling, multiplexing light spears of every imaginable color. Behind him, the heavy door closed and the train pulled away into a blinding maelstrom.

Wilson turned to watch the receding apparition even as a buzzing, semiconscious river of numbness overtook him. It wasn't that he ever lost consciousness, exactly, but more that he refused to believe what he saw until the diaphonous blur crystalized into perfect geometric two-dimensional forms, resembling bricks, which is what they were. The front of the night club consisted of such. But the people on the sidewalk....

Part 4

As Rebecca sat, letting the music drift over her and wash her soul with its intensity, she became aware of a chill. At first she turned to see if perhaps some inattentive or drunken playboy had left the heavy glass doors to the balcony ajar. Satisfied that this wasn't the case, she turned around and once again faced the lighted stage.

Again she felt the icy wind going across her shoulders. This time she felt a prickling of annoyance, and she pulled up the lacy scarf around her back. She should have known not to wear this thin shirt, but it was the only one she had that wasn't completely threadbare.

Suddenly the wind in the nightclub picked up. It was freezing and it was strong enough to lift her heavy dark hair from her shoulders. She looked around in amazement, expecting to see angry looks on the faces of the other patrons. Instead, she saw people who were wholly engrossed in the sweet voice of her beautiful niece, Annabella.

Finally, chilled to the bone, she stood up and walked across the room to the waiter who sat in the corner, half-asleep. "Excuse me, sir, but is there a door open?", she said, trying not to sound too haughty. Her cultured accent could sound harsh, but she tried to temper it, at least for now. However, when the waiter gave no sign of waking up, she raised her voice.

"Sir!", she said loudly. Still no sign of a reply. "Wake up, boy!", she said, and reached out a hand to shake him awake. When she touched his shoulder, however, she felt nothing but the icy chill of the air where warm human flesh should have been.

Part 5

Annabella McKee shrieked with laughter and leaned way, way out on her pink and green stallion.

"Get back, get back, doofus! You'll fall and die for sure," shouted her father, barely audible over the calliope. The angled mirrors around the ornate carousel center reflected back shards of blond hair, white Mary Janes gripping tiny stirrups on the most wonderful wooden horse at the fair, a daddy torn between letting a tomboy rapscallion exult in perfect freedom and intruding on her ecstasy for safety's sake.

Wilson McKee and Annabella hadn't really turned loose since Rachel died. But now that Rebecca, Rachel's sister, had come to help with Annabella until Wilson could get his life back together, there was laughter in the house again. Sometimes, even, there was singing. But never like it used to be. Rebecca wasn't sure she wanted there to be. A lifetime, it seemed, of torch singing, climbing the ladder, paying the dues, learning the ropes, came to little when Jack left her.

Jack Aikman was a producer for Capitol records with an eye for talent who took Rebecca under his wing, dropping her when the next best thing came along. A few years of depression, booze, and recriminations from those Rebecca stepped on on her way up left her a career of ashes and regret. Maybe Rachel was the lucky one, she sometimes thought. The worst thing that can happen to you is to die, and Rachel has got that out of the way already. But Annabella... Annabella has something in her voice. Something very strange.

As the years passed, Annabella grew to think of her aunt as her mother. Wilson moved into the international division of Lamdox Limited, a job that took him away from home for much longer absences than he wanted, leaving him burdened with knowledge that he was shirking the part of his life that actually mattered for the part that merely kept him busy.

Sooner or later, it had to happen, and it did.

Annabella had a love of ruins. She liked nothing better than prowling around old houses abandoned since the Dust Bowl, reading the yellowed, grimy newspapers pasted to grey, warped boards, the wallpaper of poverty. It was inevitable she would find the long empty remains of Albacore Native Church, over a hundred years deserted.

Part 6

Jack Aikman smiled as he reclined backwards in his soft leather chair. He had just gotten off the phone with Guy Rawley, the newest and hottest singing sensation on the West Coast. He swung around and faced the glass wall behind his desk that gave him a spectacular panorama view of L.A., and he thought about how far he had come since Rebbeca.

The thought of her made him frown, and that in turn made him angry. It seemed that nothing he could do would take away her voice from inside him, that beautiful voice that he had made famous for so brief a time. She was like a ghost, haunting his dreams and making every other voice that he heard seem second-rate.

His buisiness sense, however, told him that Guy Rawley was just what he needed. Guy was extremely good-looking, moderately talented, and, most of all, he could sell. That's what Jack needed. Just one more voice that would sell. These days when he looked in the mirror, he no longer saw the Jack Aikman that could have any woman at a party - he saw the Jack Aikman that had kicked Rebbeca out when she had gotten too old, too boring, too staid.

He couldn't bring himself to like that Jack very much.

"Dresda!", he called to his secretary, and when she walked into the office she was taken aback by the look on his face. "I don't want to be disturbed for a bit."

"All right, Mr. Aikman," she said, and retreated.

Jack picked up the phone and slowly dialed the last number that he had for Rebecca. He wanted to see if she was as miserable as he was. He hoped so.

Part 7

Albacore Native Church stood a dwarfed sentinel over barren land, overwhelmed between unending horizons, lone terminus of long dead roads since reclaimed by the ragged tundra.

Annabella McKee had hoped to find someone here, someone to give her a cool drink before she headed back to the dirt road. But as she approached the ruined, grey, steepled frame building, it became obvious no one had been here for years. As she walked into the church courtyard, it struck Annabella as odd to not see any gravestones or crosses. Apparently no one spent eternity here. No one belonged. What kind of church shunned their dead?

Inside, the sanctuary had been gutted. Decades of trash littered the broad hall, stirring like leaves as Annabella walked about, seeing only dim outlines of where surely wondrous icons had once....her toe bumped onto something of gravity, of weight. Bending down, the girl retrieved a pebbled-surface book, an orphan overlooked at the great leaving. She opened what appeared to be a hymnal, marvelling at the strange words.

HaKorei l'mafrei'a' Lo Yatza
K'riat Sh'ma l'mafrei'a', Lo
V'hayu haD'varim ha'Eleh
Turei Aven a'yikra Shezo

Just saying the words aloud was melodious; they begged to be sung. Annabella's unsteady soprano swam the rafter cross ties, permeated the hall with peals of unfamiliar words. Had her eyes been off the book pages, she'd have thrilled to see what she would have taken as fireflies swarming outside the peaked window frames.

Uvish'arekha beite'kha mezuzot....

Soft tufts of white light streamed from the sanctum porch. The twin bell towers, long empty, took on a glow rivalling the setting sun, before bursting into flame.

Mitnam'nem Parasha...

Sheets of pearlesence formed and disintegrated, shimmering ribbons collapsed in beds of glittering coals. A cool river of numbness swelled, drowning Annabella in dazzling, sparkling euphoria. I've really got to get home, she marvelled, as the church receded in a fireball. When the aurora crystallized out, she was standing shakily before her own bed.

Part 8

When Annabella crawled out of bed late the next morning, she was amazed by the change simply in the way she felt. The night before, when she had crawled beneath the cool linen sheets and fallen fast asleep, she had been a tired and lonely girl. Now, this morning, as she slid her feet into the satin slippers beside her bed, she felt mysteriously aged, as though she were a thousand year old woman inhabiting the body of a child.

She looked from side to side, wondering if by some chance she had managed to hold on to the mysterious book from which the sacred words that held such power had come. She searched untill she finally found the small hymnal, and she reached out her hand to touch it. She hesitated, then took it in her hand. It was small, rough, and hardly significant looking in the morning light. She carefully thumbed through the pages, marveling at the strange writing. Once again, she felt the incredible urge to sing, but remembering the night's events, she slid the book into the small hold inside her window seat. She'd come back to it after breakfast.

At breakfast, Wilson noticed something different about his little girl. She was far away, lost in a world of her own making. Annabella had always been a precocious child, imaginitive and tender, but her attitude today was simply that of someone who wasn't present.

"Annabella? Are you all right?", Wilson asked quietly.

"Oh, Daddy, I'm fine. Just tired. I didn't sleep well last night." It was an answer meant to placate her father, and they both realized it. Wilson let it slide, for now.

At that moment she lifted her arm to pass him the butter dish, and he saw something...something odd on her arm. Was it a bruise? It didn't seem to be. It was reddish-purple, and it had something...what was that? There - in the middle? A black mark? He had no time to investigate further, for down came her arm.

Wilson was troubled for the rest of the day.

Part 9

The black backdrop of the night club stage absorbed any stray reflection that didn't model the face of the girl behind the microphone. The front riser key light stabbed out of the cat walk and stopped Annabella's irises down to pin points, rendering the audience practically invisible to her. But she knew Rebecca was out there and she knew her efforts to bring her father here were successful. How could they not be? The Song never failed.

As her father had once noticed, Singing the Song took a physical toll on Annabella. Limiting the damage to places no one could see was getting more difficult everytime she Sang. But the end was near. Her body only needed to hold out a little more. The transition was coming; the Song almost done.

At first, she didn't understand what the Song was doing. But over time, and with practice, each bit of knowledge gained provided the basis for the next until Annabella felt she knew and understood almost everything there was to know. The Pentadimension was key. It was Singing the Song that initially teased, then opened the Pentadimension to her. The infinity of parallel universes was shown to be a manifestation of the one Pentadimension, and tapping into that gave her discretion to choose any reality she desired, and most recently to manipulate it.

But the Song was not free. Its power came from the very force that collapsed the probability wave of the Universe; the agent whose measurement determined wave/particle; the localized embodiment of universal consciousness; the human mind. The Song was mentality.

Annabella found that mentality was best tapped when humans could be 'parked' interdimensionally, rendering them unable to harm themselves and freeing up the cognitive power pool. In order to make her final leap, to become what she could only conceive of as The Goddess, Annabelle expanded her pool from the human detritus no one would miss to everyone her mind could encompass, with the exception of her father and her aunt. Someone had to watch the transition.

"Welcome to my show, Daddy. Shall I sing you a song?"

Annabella raised the book and opened it to the last page. As she began entoning the lyrical passages, it all became so clear. From quantum foaming to the Great Attractor, everything was simple, interconnected, visible. Her mind peered back to the First Moment and forward to The Coldness.

Praetor Imperatus, the Albacore Native of olden days himself, watched the silent globe that was Annabelle McKee flash into a galactic-sized supernova then shatter into nothingness. He smiled and picked up the small pebble surfaced book embossed Volume II.

Reinventing Libertaria

Gary Cruse, The Washington Dispatch, May 27, 2003

Should the Libertarian Party, a party that barely shows up on political radar as it is, be further split? Has the LP written itself out of post 9/11 America? In a country moving perceptibly to the right, does a retrenched, leftist Democratic Party open up middle ground for its own replacement to the right?

As a small 'l' libertarian, I increasingly find myself at greater odds with the LP than I am with conservatives. When social conservatism is replacing the Tenth Amendment (the powers not delegated to the United States ...are reserved to the States) with any number of Commandments, a party of individual liberty and responsibility should be highly visible. The Democratic party has been equally contemptuous of the Tenth when that party has been in power. Are the pieces there for assembling a real party of Liberty?

The Libertarian Party might be poised to make such a run, but not in its present incarnation. A couple of planks in the party platform are serious anachronisms and must be dealt with first.

Copletely out of step with America today,a 'foreign policy of non-intervention and peace' sticks out and resonates with recent anti-Iraqi war sentiments. Isolationism was almost a necessity when the oceans made dealing with the rest of the world more nuisance than blessing, but not any more. Anti-terrorism cannot be a winning hand without the cooperation of nations capable of harboring future Osamas. As to an announced policy of peace, let the lambs be silenced. There is an insidious, woolly-headed thinking among the naifs of society who are wiling to settle for lack of conflict, for now, and call it peace, without regard to the wolfy machinations on their doorstep.

France and England had a treaty with Poland to come to each other's aid if attacked. When Germany invaded Poland, the treaty was enforced to the extent that war was declared but nothing else was done, bringing about the Phony War that allowed Hitler togobble up someone else (it's always someone else who needs to sacrifice for the common good) while Poland's friends worked to restore the 'peace.' We used to call that appeasement, but now it's peacekeeping. The subtle shift in emphasis from defending what is worthwhile to redefining 'necessary' as 'expendable' isn't negotiating, it is surrender. Well, maybe it's negotiating. "I'll give you everything you want, but that's my final offer," might be dressed up enough to dance with, if you're that desperate.

As road maps go, expecting Israel to give up the Golan Heights, a strategic sacrifice of elephantine proportion, for useless promises of peace from those who unfailingly call for her extinction, secures a peace that passes understanding, not to mention overtaking credulity. The Libertarian Party's notion of peace is appeasement in Birkenstocks.

The other disconnect I have with the LP platform is the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, which, coming from the Libertarian Party of Texas is a 'kick me' sign I wouldn't want to wear around the Alamo. I'd still be laughing at that if I didn't know they were serious as a front yard fiesta del tercer mundo.

Can the Libertarian Party even coexist with War on Terrorism? The party platform seems singularly incapable of keeping suicide killers out of the country or doing anything pre-emptively to stop the creation of terrorist cadres not already here. The primary mandate of sovereignty is survival, a principle easily translated into libertarianism's recognition of the individual, with his full complement of rights and responsibilities. At the national level, this is vaporized without border control and amounts to shattering the individual writ large.

That's why I got the 'L' out of Libertarian in favor of raising a little 'l' of my own. Being a libertarian may be a step in the direction of conservatism, but being a Libertarian puts me in the pocket of people out to kill me.

As constituted, the LP will remain off the political radar, and small 'l'ers will agonize over how far down the ticket the silliness has to be before one can safely vote for it. So far, dog catcher is not far from the ceiling. A party rethought without these suicide clauses might do well as the major parties peel away from each other. The Republicans look to have a lock on 2004, so there's plenty of time to get a new dog ready. This one won't hunt.

Debra LaFave - Epilogue

Teacher Debra LaFave now a sex offender

After Tuesday's hearing, Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said the plea was "a fair resolution of this case." Asked how she felt afterward, Lafave said "tired."

Debra LaFave pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery, on count one, 2 years community control and on count two, one year community control with 7 years of probation.

This means she will avoid any jail time.

Her charges run consecutively, with a total of probation for 10 years. After she serves the two years of community control, she can come back to court and ask the court to convert her third year of community control to probation.

The Hillsborough County Prosecutor Mike Sinacore says they state agreed to this deal at the request of the victim's mother who wanted to spare her son from testifying.

JudgeTimmerman went over the conditions of the community control and probation, which are standard for convicted sexual offenders.

Debra LaFave now has a curfew from 10pm to 6am. She must stay at least a thousand feet from schools, daycare centers etc., and anywhere kids congregate.

Thirty days from today, she must enroll in an outpatient sex offender program at her expense.

A therapist must certify she has completed the program within 4 years from start to finish. LaFave is to have no contact with boy, either indirectly or directly.

After the boy turns 18 years old, only the court may determine whether LaFave and the boy can have contact and that would be after the court, after consulting with therapists, determine if it's in the best interest of the victim.

LaFave can have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 18 without another adult present and also the approval of the court.

The judge also said LaFave cannot possess any pornographic, sexual or obscene martial (tapes, computer, books etc.) She must submit a DNA sample to the state sex offender database.

LaFave must also pay for the psychological treatment and related expenses for the boy. While she is on probation, she must also have a polygraph every year.

(New York, N.Y.) – Sept. 12, 2006 – In an exclusive interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, Debra Beasley LaFave speaks out in her first television interview about the 2004 criminal case that made her one of the most infamous school teachers in America. LaFave, the young, attractive teacher who became an international sensation, pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious battery and is currently serving a sentence of house arrest. She recounts her sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student step by step to Lauer, revealing new details about the affair and saying that behind her good looks, there was a deeply troubled woman suffering from bipolar disorder. The exclusive interview will air on "Today" (7:00 AM/ET) and on "Dateline NBC" (9:00 PM/ET) on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Below are excerpts from the interview, mandatory credit to "Today" and "Dateline NBC":

RE: Why she garnered so much attention:

LaFave: I don't know.
Lauer: I'll say it. Do you think it's because you're pretty?
LaFave: I think so. And sex sells.
RE: How the affair began:

LaFave: I think he just became very flirtatious and you gotta remember that at that period in my time or in my life I didn't feel like an adult. I was crashing fast. Lauer: I would imagine there are parents watching right now Debbie and…they're saying, "Wait a minute. She just said that he became very flirtatious." You know a) is she blaming him for how this started? So the answer to that is?
LaFave: No.
Lauer: And b) She was the older one…She was the teacher. She was the role model.
LaFave: I did. I crossed the line that never should've been crossed.

RE: Her lack of consciousness during this time:
Lauer: Did you and this student have open conversations about the fact that you two might be getting into very dangerous territory?
LaFave: You know there was very little conversation to be honest with you. You know looking back he was 14, you know what is there really to say to a 23-year-old...
Lauer: … At any point during sex with this student or after sex with this student did you say, "In the eyes of the law, I just committed rape" ? LaFave: No. I never said that.

RE: How she thinks this may impact her victim's life:
LaFave: I think he's gonna have a hard time trusting women one day. I'm sure he has to be living with the guilt of quote, unquote ratting me out.

RE: Being bipolar:
LaFave: I don't want to blur the lines between doing something as heinous as what I did, and being bipolar. But, yes, symptoms of bipolar definitely contributed to my mind frame.

RE: What she wants people to know about her:
LaFave: That I committed a sex offense. But I'm not a sex offender, even though I'm labeled as that. I made a really, really, really bad choice.
Lauer: You don't see yourself as a predator?
LeFave: It's hard. It is so hard because I lived 23 years of my life, you know, knowing who I was. I was a kindhearted person who loved children, who would never, you know, do anything to break the law. I was a good person. And then now everything has just changed. So it's just really hard for me to accept that.

Hernando: Lafave trial decision was the honorable choice.

Popular belief is that a child can testify in private, does not have to face the defendant, can have an adult testify in his place or testify by video. This is not the case.

Only in extremely rare and limited circumstances are these steps permitted. The Lafave case does not meet any of the standards to allow the victim to testify outside the presence of the jury, defendant or courtroom. The victim's identity cannot be altered or hidden.

In child sex-abuse cases, the victim must take the witness stand and tell in graphic detail all matters related to the sexual encounter. Often victims have to describe sexual acts, discuss facts related to their own genitalia, the genitalia of the defendant and describe in explicit detail every aspect of the sexual encounter. The victim is forced to describe a sexual experience that has become the most embarrassing moment of his or her life.

Who would willingly choose to do that?

A 34-year-old [Delaware] teacher ... has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student. New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said the woman allegedly had sex with the boy 28 times during one week in March.

Debra Lafave Puts a Pretty Face to an Ugly Issue.

Debra Lafave would have you believe that it was an intense psychological cocktail of bipolar disease and anorexia which motivated her to have sex with her student.

But since neither of these conditions is linked with predatory sex, Lafave has left us to interpret her acts as a deviously creative way to garner attention. And it's working. Oddly enough, becoming a pedophile is a very effective way to turn heads.

"No doubt there was no shortage of indignant harrumphing and lip-pursing in the nation's newsrooms with the revelation that Debra Lafave aspires to one day become a journalist.

"Well, you have to admit that for whatever news organization would hire her, it could be one darn fine office Christmas party." --Daneil Ruth, Tampa Tribune

Documents reveal LaFave’s dark secrets and intimate details
By:Mike Deeson Tampa, Florida - The conversations come from some 900 pages of sworn testimony released today. We have to warn you some of this is sexually explicit because of the nature of this case. It is significant. Also we usually have a policy of never identifying the victims of a sexual assault, but because in this case because Debra LaFave is the perpetrator as well as a victim, we felt it was significant.

Sworn depositions show Debra LaFave had a lesbian relationship when she was in high school.

Her lover Casie Martinez testified, "She seemed very comfortable with girls, I mean she seemed that she had a slight preference, You know it seemed comfortable and natural to her."

The state asked, "Were you ever sexually active with each other?" Yes we were Martinez says. "Okay was it more than just kissing then?"

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah"

Lafave’s ex husband Owen testified about the sexual assaults she endured from a classmate when she was 13.

"But she told me it has taken place at her middle school… and I guess the majority of the occurrences it happened >

in the school and he would pen her into corners in the classroom and that type of thing."

Owen LaFave told prosecutors, "I am aware she’s been diagnosed with I think bipolar disorder. She is anorexic."

And he says, she started acting strange and depressed at home. "And she would come home from work, strip down completely naked and have popcorn and just lay on the couch, eat popcorn and go to sleep."

Meantime, LaFave says the couple’s sex life went from one extreme to the other

"There were periods of hyper sexual relationship and there were periods when it shut down completely."

But after the arrest LaFave says Debra changed.

"She started to spend a lot of, a significant amount of time in Christian books stores and reading you know religious related scripture and books and that sort of thing."

We also learned that Owen LaFave was suspicious of Debra’s time away from home, but he never imagined she was a having a relationship with a student, but instead accused her of having a relationship with a student’s father; it was a charge she angrily denied and clearly one that wasn’t true.

Beauty & beastliness -

To be sure, we're addicted to beauty in America, the superficial kind, anyhow. We're always giving beautiful people breaks, too, so it's only fitting the hot-looking teacher got off.

It's over, folks. You know the LaFave story has jumped the shark when the loons begin explaining her actions through their deluded fantasies.

God Intervenes for Debra Lafave

Meanwhile, back in the real world....

Even though the charges have been dropped in Marion County, Lafave will still serve out the terms of the plea deal accepted by the Hillsborough County judge.

Lafave struggled to get a job for a while. In December, her officer wrote "she is trying to find a job with little to no public contact, as she gets death threats as well as unwelcomed contact because of her case." But by a few weeks later, Lafave was apparently over that concern. She got a job as a waitress in a Sun City Center restaurant

OCALA, Fla. (WJRT/AP) - (03/22/06)-- When Debra Lafave, the former Tampa, Fla., teacher accused of having sex with her 14-year-old student, learned that state prosecutors had dropped charges against her, she called her ordeal "a bump in the road."

Debra Lafave: Free to Pursue Therapy/Journalism

Her hair was stylishly slicked back behind her girlishly pretty face and colored a hue which has become her signature platinum blonde. Dressed in a patterned skirt and a black blazer opened to a deceivingly conservative blouse, Debra Lafave marched self-assuredly beside her attorney into a Florida press conference this afternoon. She sat arrogantly stone-faced while the public learned that the sexual molestation charges involving her 14 year old student had been dropped. Her attorney hopes that she will eventually 'fade to a foot-note', but such is something that sexual predators rarely do.

Lafave smirked carelessly as she unfolded a piece of yellow stationary which held words she ultimately delivered in a fashion more like an Oscar-winning acceptance speech than a gratefully humble acknowledgement of heavily pardoned guilt. While consistently citing her dedication to prayer, she spoke of herself as a crusader of truth, a scapegoat in the battle to prove that 'mental illness is real' and can cause 'good people to do bad things.'Eventually said illness was identified as bipolar disorder, a disease characterized by dramatic shifts from depressive to manic moods, an illness not directly associated with any sexually predatory or deviant behavior.

During the question and answer period with the press, she criticized the media for under-reporting and misunderstanding her alleged disease. 'I challenge you (the media) to read a book or an article on bipolar illness.' When asked about her greatest regret, Lafave briefly mentioned her guilt for sleeping with her 14 year old student before blaming the media for being an invader of the boy's privacy. It may well have been that Lafave was not married during the time of her offense. She never mentioned her ex-husband during her comments today, and an apology for the devastation and embarrassment she cause him seemed to be the least of her now greatly reduced concerns. She's looking to an unmarred future despite the turmoil she is responsible for. Apparently, it's an online journalism course that has currently stuck fancy with the ex-teacher. 'God has given me a great outlet to write.' Elizabeth Licorish ElitesTV Charges dropped in teacher sex case

House arrest for LaFave begins today

Tampa, Florida - The world won't see much, if any, of Debra LaFave over the next three years. Community control means house arrest, confinement at home with the flexibility to leave for work, school and the grocery store.

"Debra LaFave will not start out on an electric monitor, but if her probation officers even suspects just a little bit that she is not doing what she is supposed to be doing, then they can ask the judge to place her on an electric monitor."

LaFave began her confinement on Wednesday and her picture was also posted on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, labeling her a registered sex offender in this state.

The plea agreement was reached in part to lift the overwhelming amount of publicity LaFave got since her arrest, and it was one of the determining factors for the victim's family who agreed to this deal.

Without question, all the media attention on this case helped Debra LaFave in the short run. But in the long run, it'll be up to LaFave to make sure she complies with the terms of her probation. If she violates seriously, then she could wind up in the Florida State Prison.

Young? Female? Criminal? Thank God It's Florida!

Lafave's life will never be the same.

The biggest complication for Lafave could be a requirement that she place her name on the state's sex offender registry. The database contains the names and addresses of sex offenders and some details of their charges. It is available to the public on the Internet.

Many sex offenders manage to remain relatively anonymous. But for a woman whose image has been beamed around the world and plastered on the front pages of newspapers, the registry could prove not just invasive but dangerous. "Debbie and my office have received literally hundreds of letters from all over the country, and some of these letters are disturbing," Fitzgibbons said. "I really don't want to get into the details, but that could be a concern if people know where she lives."

Are There Double Standards With Women Sex Offenders?

Is there really a double standard? Prosecutors in San Diego say justice should be blind, but cases of female sex offenders present challenges.

Of the roughly 4000 registered sex offenders in the county, only 50 are women -- about 1 percent. Prosecutors say going to trial often means going uphill.

"And jurors are a part of that. (They) don't view women as traditional sex predators (or) someone to fear," said Summer Stephan with the district attorney's office.

The public may not view women as threats because violent offenders are rare, but there's another explanation.

Sociologists say the undelying perception is the victim is not really being victimized.

A SDSU sociology professor told 10News we live in a culture where males are encouraged to have as much sex as early as possible.

Experts say those social perceptions then make it tougher on a victim to testify. In the Lafave case, sources say the mother of the victim agreed to a plea deal, so her son wouldn't have to go through a trial.

OCALA, Fla. - Prosecutors are dropping the latest charges against Debra LaFave, the Florida school teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student, WESH-TV, NBC's Orlando affiliate, reported Tuesday.

The decision came just hours after a judge in Marion County rejected a second plea deal in the case, saying “Quite frankly, if the allegations against the defendant are true, the agreed-upon sentence shocks the conscience of this court.”

In the Marion County case, prosecutors promised the teen's mother that he would not have to testify. But because Circuit Judge Hale Stancil rejected the second plea deal, the only other option for prosecutors would have been a trial, which would force the boy to take the stand.

Sources told WESH that prosecutors had planned for several weeks to drop the charges against LaFave, who earlier agreed to a plea deal in a second court in a case in which she lost her teacher's license and was sentenced to three years of house arrest.

TAMPA - (Mar 21) An Ocala judge rejected a plea deal that would have given house arrest to Debra Lafave, a former Greco Middle School English teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student.

LaFave is scheduled to go on trial on April 10. A Marion County judge Tuesday said accepting the plea for Debra Lafave, the teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old, would erode the public's confidence in schools.

"You have to understand that this is a woman who can't live with boundaries," the boy's mom said. "I would be stunned if she doesn't violate her probation. I would pray that Judge Stancil would take the plea deal and then he would have the opportunity to immediately throw her in jail and give her 16 years."

As if enough print hasn't already been dedicated to Debra Beasley Lafave, a longtime author and award-winning film writer has a book in the works. Bill Simon, writer and producer of the Emmy-nominated Setting Sail, a PBS documentary with Walter Cronkite, is supposed to turn the Lafave book in to publishers within the next few months, according to Lafave's ex-husband, Owen Lafave.

Tampa, Florida - She is the most infamous registered sex offender in Florida. She also appears to be a registered bride. According to Thursday morning's St. Petersburg Times, Debra LaFave is confirmed to be engaged.

We'd noticed in court recently she was sporting a ring.

The Times reports the ring is from LaFave's high school sweetheart Andrew Beck. No wedding date is set. As for LaFave's other big date, an appearance regarding a plea deal in Marion County, that remains uncertain.

Tampa Bay 10

"Testifying in court is not what's going to cause him harm, and I think the therapist and the prosecutor and the judge need to put the blame where it belongs, on the sexual predator who preyed on this child," said ABC News legal contributor Lisa Bloom.

I'm thinking it over, says judge of possible 17 year sentence.

Child-sex cases raise questions of gender bias

Rene Stutzman Sentinel Staff Writer Mar 11, 2006

Dang Van Dinh, a male chemistry teacher at Orlando's Boone High School, was ordered to prison for five years for having sex with a 15-year-old girl. But Debra Lafave, a female teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old student in suburban Tampa, was merely placed on house arrest for her crime. Dinh and Lafave were both in the news this week, calling attention to their contrasting punishments. It's a familiar pattern, according to a national expert on classroom sexual abuse: Female teachers who sexually abuse students get far less punishment than male teachers who do the same thing. Robert J. Shoop, professor of education at Kansas State University, has studied teacher sex abuse for 15 years and has written a book on the subject.

He said his review of five years of news reports shows that male teachers are likely to get 15 to 20 years in prison, while female teachers typically are placed on probation or go to prison for one to three years. He said the disparity reflects society's wrongheaded view that adolescent boys are not harmed by having sex with older women. "No, it's not fair," said David DeMond, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association. "A predator is a predator is a predator, whether they wear a dress or whether they wear a pair of pants." But prosecutors, including the one who negotiated the plea deal with Lafave, say they work just as hard to get tough sentences for female teachers who are sexual abusers. There is "absolutely not" any disparity, said Michael Sinacore, Lafave's Hillsborough County prosecutor.

Lafave now faces similar charges in Marion County because of incidents involving the same victim on a trip to that county. Prosecutors there were in court Wednesday hoping to persuade a judge to accept a plea deal for Lafave similar to the deal -- three years' house arrest and seven years' probation -- she struck in Hillsborough County. That same day, Dinh made headlines in Orlando because Orange Circuit Judge Bob Wattles has floated the idea of having him speak to young teachers about the dangers of becoming too close to students. Sinacore said Hillsborough prosecutors had previously offered Lafave a plea deal that would have sent her to prison for three years. Then the victim's family stepped in and said they didn't want the youth to have to testify at trial. That weakened prosecutors' hand, and forced them to offer Lafave a more lenient deal. Such problems often crop up in teacher sex cases involving both male and female teachers, Sinacore said. "These cases are very difficult to prove," he said.

Sometimes evidence doesn't hold up, a witness changes an account or new evidence contradicts old. When that happens, rather than go to trial and lose, prosecutors will accept a weaker plea deal, he said. Assistant State Attorney Phillip Havens, who manages sex-crime prosecution in Volusia County, watched as a 2004 case unraveled against former middle-school teacher Paula Cantrell, now 41. She was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy, but before the case went to trial, the boy changed his story and denied they had had sex, Havens said. So Havens made the best deal he could, he said: Cantrell entered a plea to interfering with child custody, was placed on probation and ordered to stay away from the boy. A few months later, though, authorities found him at her home, and she was rearrested. She's now in state prison for violating the terms of her probation.

"Our office looks for the maximum sentence we can get in every case," Havens said. Lafave wasn't sent to prison and Cantrell wasn't initially locked up, but prosecutors and judges do send female teachers to prison. Last month, Carol Flannigan, an elementary-school music teacher in Palm Beach County who had sex with an 11-year-old boy, agreed to a five-year prison sentence. And in one of the nation's best-known teacher-student sex cases, Mary Kay Letourneau spent 7 1/2 years in prison for having sex with a 12-year-old student, in Seattle. Last May, nine months after she was freed, she married the boy, Vili Fualaau, then 22. Winter Park psychologist Deborah Day has evaluated male and female teachers accused of sexually abusing students. "There is a continued societal belief that female perpetrators are not perpetrators," Day said Friday.

"There's also this perception that male adolescents can't be damaged by having sex with older females." Neither is true, she said. Just like girls who've been sexually abused, boys suffer guilt and shame, she said. Women should be punished as harshly as men, she said. "It's the same behavior from a different gender," she said. The emotional damage done to boys is the same as what's done to girls, she said. So what is the right sentence for a teacher, male or female, who sexually abuses a child? "I think the punishment that men are getting, 15 to 20 years, seems to be reasonable to me," Shoop, the Kansas State professor, said.

"Witnesses don't enjoy testifying," said Circuit judge Hale Stancil, who postponed Lafave's sentencing for seven to 10 days. "I need to give it a little more thought."

Stancil is seriously considering ignoring the plea arrangement which required three years of home confinement plus probation, instead sentencing Lafave to 16.9 years, in accordance with Florida guidelines.

Lafave's Plea Deal Back In Court

Debra LaFave will appear in court at 1 pm this afternoon. Also expected at the hearing will be the mother of the victim. The mother is expected to ask the judge to accept the plea deal so her family can put the case behind them.

TAMPA - A Marion County judge faces a decision about Debra Lafave's fate that is weighted down with politics and could have legal ramifications in two counties. In a case that made headlines in newspapers across the country - and was discussed on nationally broadcast legal affairs shows, talk shows and tabloid television - prosecutors of the former teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student are expected to argue today that Lafave should not go to trial. Lafave, now 25, came to a plea agreement with Hillsborough County prosecutors in November that included house arrest rather than prison.

The deal hinged on a similar agreement in Marion County that would resolve charges that she also had sex with the teen in Ocala. Marion County Circuit Judge Hale Stancil surprised the prosecution and defense when he told them in December that he was not inclined to approve a deal unless it included prison. When prosecutors said the teen's mother did not want her son to testify, Stancil ordered a psychiatric evaluation of the teen to determine whether testifying would be detrimental to his emotional health. A doctor is expected to testify today about his findings. Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, declined to talk about today's hearing. Marion County prosecutors did not return a call seeking comment. A Pinellas County defense lawyer and legal analyst who has no ties to the case said the prosecutors today actually will argue for the defense. Jeff Brown said the prosecutors represent the teenage victim.

If they think it is not in his best interest to testify and they think the plea deal is sound, they must say so to the judge. The defense might say little. If the judge does not agree to the deal, the state attorney could drop charges against Lafave, taking the judge out of the equation, Brown said. Legally, little would change. The plea deal in Hillsborough would stand. Political implications, however, might create problems, Brown said. State Attorney Brad King - who handles Marion, Citrus and three other counties - is up for re-election in 2008. Brown said he has spoken to defense attorneys in Marion County who say King has political pressure against dropping Lafave's charges. Perceived problems with another well-publicized case - involving the slaying of 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford in Citrus County - already have caused King some negative publicity, Brown said. If charges are not dropped and a trial is set, the teen's mother will have to allow her son to testify or face contempt charges, Brown said. "I think the judge has set this down a road it should not be going down," Brown said.

Another possibility, should Stancil not agree to the plea, would be a request from the defense that the judge recuse himself. In Florida, Brown said, a defense attorney is allowed one opportunity to ask for a new judge. If Fitzgibbons points out reasons Stancil cannot be fair and impartial, the judge will not be able to keep the case, even if he disagrees, Brown said. Lafave is serving house arrest in Hillsborough County after pleading guilty to charges that she performed a sex act on the student in her Riverview town house and had intercourse with him in her classroom at Greco Middle. Lafave also is accused of driving the teen to Ocala, where his cousin drove a sport utility vehicle as the two had sex in the back. The cousin's mother saw the pair standing in a parking lot and called the teen's mother, prompting a criminal investigation. If the Marion County agreement falls through, Fitzgibbons could withdraw his plea deal in Hillsborough County, sending it to trial there as well. Brown said that regardless of Stancil's decision, the judge might take today's hearing "under advisement" and issue his ruling in writing within a few days or weeks.

Why do women paedophiles get off so lightly?

Teachers' Pets? Are teachers who sleep with boys getting off?
By William Saletan Updated Monday, Jan. 16, 2006, at 1:22 PM

Move over, Mrs. Robinson. The new public enemy is the bespectacled babe who teaches our kids math in the classroom and sex in the parking lot. Dozens of female teachers have been caught with male students in recent years, and the airwaves are full of outrage that we're letting them off the hook. On cable news, phrases like "double standard" and "slap on the wrist" are poured like pious gravy over photos of the pedagogue-pedophile-pet of the month. "Why is it when a man rapes a little girl, he goes to jail," CNN's Nancy Grace complains, "but when a woman rapes a boy, she had a breakdown?"

. Leave Debra Alone, Already December 15, 2005 Last week, a Florida county judge rejected former teacher Debra LaFave's plea bargain, raising the specter of a trial in the sensational case – a trial no one wants


In late November of this year, a plea bargain was reached between the district attorney's office and her common sense-less defense attorney, who had previously been videotaped stating that Debra was too attractive to go to prison, implying that she’d be, at minimum, figuratively eaten alive by packs of burly prison-mates. This may, in fact, be a realistic assessment, but announcing it to the world – while your pretty client is standing right there at your side – shows a severe lack of judgment. Debra was there again by his side, smiling sweetly, when he announced the plea deal, which was almost certain to outrage her detractors. (Lightning strikes twice....)

The plea bargain wasn't much of a bargain, in my opinion. Ms. LaFave would have had to lose her teaching license forever, endure three years of house arrest, and then seven years of probation. She would have had to register with the state as a sexual predator, and not have any contact with any children on the planet. She wouldn't be allowed to profit from the sale of her story or personal appearances. How is this a great deal for the woman? Yes, she avoids incarceration, but how is she supposed to earn a living?

The claws of cable TV's newswomen sprang out like those of jungle cats last week, at the news of the junked plea bargain. Nancy Grace of CNN, in particular, had nothing but hysterical venom for Debra, as if she were evil incarnate: "... This grade school teacher had a schoolboy in the back of an SUV, having full-blown sex with an underage child. She went across the county lines from Hillsborough to Marion. OK. The Hillsborough judge swallowed the deal, again, like it was chocolate pudding. It tasted great going down. The Marion County judge said, Oh, no, no, no, no, no. No, no. This is sex with a minor. You`re not getting straight probation."

I'm not saying that I approve of sex between an adult and a minor, but keep in mind that this minor was of the opposite gender, and well into puberty. Inasmuch as a 14-year-old can give consent, he obviously gave it. Okay, Debra seems a little wacky, but like it or not, being seduced by a young blonde bombshell is not the same as a 300-lb. middle-aged spinster forcing herself on a timid "bookworm" type of adolescent. To me, it seems fairly obvious that your gender pretty much determines your view of this case.

Sure, Debra made a serious mistake; she had sex with a boy. She is obviously not a sexual predator, however, and a few years of probation would be penalty enough for her. Instead, a year-and-a-half after the misconduct, she continues to be hounded, because of a little tyrant on a bench somewhere in Florida. By the way, I haven't seen or heard any information about the "honorable" judge. I wonder what crimes he's committed over the years, in the name of justice or not, with the impunity provided by his black robe? Why aren't the news media saying anything about him?

It was all settled; case closed. Then some local judge, with a bug up his butt or a Puritanical streak in his spine, decided in petty fury he wouldn't accept the deal. This was the first time I, and doubtless other Americans, learned that judges have the power to disapprove of plea bargains. Whether or not you approve of plea bargains, I fail to understand why the judge, essentially a third party, should have any input into these commonplace negotiations. In any case, he is a fool if he thinks any jury with half a dozen normal men on it will convict Ms. LaFave.

Even the victim's mother has come out against a trial, fearing that it would hinder her son's potential for a normal life going forward. So no one wants it, except some obscure, minor league jurist, sitting behind the aegis of a judicial bench (who, I suspect, secretly wants to get a look at the nude "evidentiary" photos and pound his gavel) and, of course, the entertainment/news media, and voyeurs like myself.

The only thing that can emerge from this trial, should it come to pass, is another exposé of the pathetic nature of our legal system. This would be the biggest farce since the O.J. Simpson trial, and everyone on Earth would once again see how stupid and broken our criminal justice system really is. The only way to avoid it is to leave Debra alone, already.

Andrew S. Fischer [send him mail] is a controller for an investment advisory firm in Pennsylvania. But it's quite an innovation in jurisprudence if those of us fortunate enough to be fetching can count on being punished more lightly should we commit a crime. Frankly, we're not sure it comports with constitutional principles of equal justice.v On the other hand, it does open up some intriguing possibilities in insult humor. She's so ugly, when she robs a bank she has to wear a mask!

--James Taranto WSJ Best of the Web

Media is to blame for Lefave mess[The LaFave case] may have everything to do with gender bias but

it is a bias that originated in the media - not in the court system. Because of that, prosecutors have been forced to salvage whatever they can to make sure that a child molester is held responsible in some fashion.

Get angry about it, but direct that anger at the overzealous, self-righteous talking heads who now hypocritically seek to find fault with the prosecutors and judges. Put the blame squarely where it belongs. ________ Bridget Kiefer works as a victim-witness counselor in the state attorney's office and resides in Ocala.

"I want to make sure the facts are clear," the victim's mother wrote. "She DID NOT `GET OFF.' " If Debra can fake insanity, she could have at least faked an orgasm or two. Sheesh. No wonder the boy doesn't want to go public.

REJECTED: Debra LaFave's plea deal shot down

A judge in Marion County has rejected Debra LaFave's plea deal. A trial is now scheduled in Marion County for April 10. Marion County Circuit Judge Hale R. Stancil on Thursday said he wanted to hear more evidence before signing on to a plea agreement Lafave had reached with Hillsborough prosecutors. Lafave's fate is in Stancil's hands. A Stetson University College of Law graduate, the 59-year-old judge is a 12-year veteran of the bench with a reputation for being tough on defendants. "When you go before Judge Stancil, sometimes he will appear harsh. . . . He is a man of mercy, but his mercy is tempered by his reason," Charles Holloman, who has tried cases before Stancil for 20 years, said. "He's not going to give you some sort of political milquetoast decision, even in a case where the victims might claim that's what they want."

"The agreement went below the guidelines, and I'm not willing to go below the guidelines," Judge Hale Stancil told CNN. The Judge is asking for psychological evaluation of the boy and his cousin, who drove the two around as they had sexual relations in the back seat. Both the male victim's mother and Lafave, 25, teared up when the judge announced his decision. "Because of the media coverage of these cases, I fear that proceeding to trial will negatively affect my son's emotional and psychological well-being," the boy's mother said in an affidavit filed in Hillsborough County. LaFave, a former schoolteacher, is accused of having sexual relations with one of her students. She faced separate charges in both Hillsborough and Marion counties. A plea deal was made for the Hillsborough charges, but today's ruling has had the plea deal rejected for only Marion County.

The trial is expected to go forward in Marion, despite the family of the victim's wishes.

It is not yet known how this will affect the case in Hillsborough County

Owen LaFave tells CBS that deal sends the message that sex with minors isn't so bad. And, he says she still doesn't realize "how wrong it really is" to have sex with a child.

Ridgeway said the attorneys would take a new plea deal to the judge.

Debra LaFave -- Not the only one

Bearing an unusual physical resemblance to an older Debra LaFave, Beth Geisel, a 42-year-old Christian Brothers Academy writing instructor, mother of four and wife of a bank president, said nothing as she surrendered to face charges of raping a 16-year-old male student last May.

Police say she had sex with the boy once at her home in the Albany, New York suburb of Colonie, as her children slept downstairs. She is now out on bail.

Cliff Albert - Clear Channel, San Diego

Sometimes people do things you just can't believe.

Take the case of that female teacher at a Catholic high school in Albany, New York…who's accused of having sex with a 16-year-old male student.

And word is…he's not the only kid at the school she's had sex with.

Beth Geisel is a 42-year-old Christian Brothers Academy writing instructor…mother of four and wife of a bank president.

Police say the Catholic schoolteacher had sex with the student inside her home as her own children slept downstairs.

Incredibly, she's not the only teacher gone wild lately.

In Miami, a middle-school reading teacher is charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student.

Now, I don't know about you, but even under emotional stress, most people know what she did was wrong. And if not the first time, then certainly the 2nd or 3rd.

So what is going on? And…where is the outrage?

You imagine what the reaction would be if these teachers had been men…who had sex with teenage girls?

They'd be locked up for good.

But since it's women having sex with teenage boys, somehow it's not as bad.

But when you consider what our culture teaches us about sex, is it any surprise that sometimes there are so many failing grades?

On Tuesday, April 5, 2005, an arrest was made of Gwen Anne Cardozo, a 33 year old mother of four and high school teacher at Wasson High School for Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust.

Mrs. Cardozo’s arrest was the result of an investigation into an allegation that she had been sexually active with a 17 year old male victim, who was a former student of hers at Wasson High School.

According to a police affidavit, a student teacher found two notebooks containing sexually explicit love letters while grading papers for Cardozo in February.

The felony carries up to six years in prison and fines of $500,000.Cardozo resigned from Wasson High School in March after teaching English for 10 years.Cardozo originally denied having a relationship with the boy until threatened with a lie detector test.

Cardozo told police she is separated from her husband. Former Ponderosa High School teacher Nicole Andrea Barnhart was arrested in March for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student. She's facing charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and demonstrating a pattern of abuse. She faces up to 18 years in prison.

The guy was not even her current student. I believe Colorado's age of consent laws are set too high, as are they in most other states.
10 TIPS FOR SEDUCING YOUR TEACHER! AS A nation reels from the Lafave sex scandal -- a daring new book aims to help teenage boys become a REAL teacher's pet.

A renegade author has penned a controversial new book -- giving teens tips on how to seduce their teachers!

Religious and community leaders have roundly condemned the outrageous how-to manual titled, Nailing Miss Crabtree: How to Become a REAL Teacher's Pet.

Here are 10 of the main tips in the manual:

1. Choose a hot-to-trot target. A teacher who always shows off her legs in micro-miniskirts craves more male attention than she's getting at home.

2. Sit in the front row. You want Miss Hottie to notice you -- and to feel your eyes right on her cute tush whenever she erases the backboard.

3. Make eye contact. No matter how boring the words coming out of her mouth during a lecture, behave like you're entranced.

4. Act up frequently in class. Teachers who are open to flings with students are often closet riskaddicts -- and are more attracted to "dangerous" bad boys than to goody two shoes.

5. Take a dive on a test. It may break your heart to deliberately flunk a test, but that F can earn you some one-on-one after-school tutoring.

6. Bring her a gift. It can be as cheap as a container of Pez, but she'll appreciate the gesture.

7. Ask about her home life. After class, casually ask why she "looks so sad." Then pretend to listen as she unloads about adult problems -- and hopefully, marital woes. Nod sympathetically.

8. Hit her up for a "cultural" date. Notice a subject she won't stop yapping about, such as art, then ask her to accompany you on an innocent outing to a museum.

9. Offer to pay -- even if it's only for an ice-cream cone. That signals that you're ready to be the "man" in the relationship.

10. Go for it. Tell Teach you're crazy about her and want her to be the one who takes your virginity, even if you've been with plenty of girls before.

With any luck, she'll be flattered enough to give you a private "anatomy" lesson!

And now, fem on fem teacher 'rape'

A South Haven middle school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student is now charged with criminal sexual conduct in Kent County. New charges stem also from assaults that Miklosovic is accused of committing at her Grand Rapids home.

A story of teacher girl on girl rape took a turn for the bizarre and may have jumped the shark on Debra LaFave class middle school titilations.

"She's wanting to protect the teacher" from charges of sexual assault, said State Police Sgt. Oppenheim, who investigated the case.

In a relationship police say both felt was wholly consensual, or holy depending on your choice of religiosity, a 14-year-old girl married her teacher in a deep woods pagan ritual.

Elizabeth Miklosovic, 36, of Grand Rapids, is accused of sexually assaulting the girl five times since, although in the necessary absence of choked chickens and spanked monkeys, the nature of the assault is elusive.

Miklosovic, a seventh-grade language arts teacher, befriended the emotionally troubled girl when she was in her class two years ago, then asked the family for permission to take her camping.

After setting up Miklosovic's pop-up camper, the girl and her teacher lit candles, "did some chants" and exchanged vows among the trees.

There were no priests or witnesses. "They followed the ritual," which also included exchanging a braided piece of cloth, she said.

During a week in the woods, after the vows, the teacher and the girl had the first of five sexual encounters, police said. "They consummated their relationship, and it progressed more from that."

The other encounters were reportedly at Van Buren County park and a Grand Rapids home where Miklosovic lives with another woman and an adopted son.

Miklosovic was arraigned Thursday on a charge of first-degree sexual assault, a potential life offense. She was held on a $100,000 bond. She also is charged in Kent County with first- and second-degree sexual assault.

Planned insanity defense surprises Debra Lafave's husband

TAMPA- Debra Lafave's plans to use an insanity defense against charges that she had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student caught a lot of people off-guard, but perhaps none more so than her soon-to-be ex-husband.

Action News reporter Sarina Fazan sat down with Owen Lafave to watch footage of Debra's first court appearance in months, and it didn't take long for Owen to notice significant changes in her.

"She looks terrible. She's definitely put on, probably, a good 15 pounds. Look at her eyes, she has dark circles under her eyes. She looks genuinely frightened there," he said as he watched the tape.

Owen believes Debra was coached to be more conservative. Tuesday's look was a drastic change from when the former Greco Middle School teacher was first arrested in June.

"Her hair is shorter, she does has bangs, she's wearing less makeup. I think she looks younger," Owen continued. "She doesn't look well. She looks stressed out, like maybe the ramifications of the whole thing have taken a toll on her physically."

Debra's dramatic eye shadow and bright red lipstick were gone, and a small gold crucifix hung around her neck.

"After this happened, she really turned to God. She became very involved in the Bible and Christian book stores, as well as more symbolic gestures, like the cross she is wearing," Owen said.

Owen had dated Debra since he was in college. So did he see anything unusual then, or when he was married to her?

"There was some behavior that was speculative. We went through a rough patch, a period of time and she was treated for depression as well as some eating disorders. She had sought help, saw a psychologist, was on some medication," Owen recalled. "So there were some patterns, but nothing to the extent that she was capable of what she was charged with. I would never have married her if I thought that was the case."

Owen had not spoken with Debra in months, so he said it was "hard to say" if Debra really is insane, as her defense would indicate. Nonetheless, the tactic caught him off guard.

"I was very surprised that was the direction they decided to take with the defense. Honestly I had thought in the back of my mind that they would have reached plea agreement of some sort. I'm not sure that it's the best strategy to take; I think it's risky," Owen offered. "I know it's a very difficult position to defend. As well, I know [Debra's attorney] John Fitzgibbons represented a doctor that killed his wife in Plant City in front of his children, and that was unsuccessful. I'm not expert, but I don't feel like this would be the best strategy to take."

As more evidence is released, Owen said it will be difficult for him to hear more details, and he does not plan to attend the trial.

Debra, he added, has yet to sign the final divorce papers. Updated November 17, 2005

Woman Sought To Keep Lafave Away From Her Children

TAMPA - -- A woman who says Debra Lafave stole her boyfriend filed court papers this month asking a judge to keep Lafave away from her children.

The court rejected the request, saying a protective order would be issued only if there were allegations that Lafave was potentially violent toward the children.

Lafave, a 25-year-old former English teacher at Greco Middle School, is scheduled for trial next month on charges that she had sex with a 14-year-old student.

In court papers filed Nov. 3, Lisa C. York, 33, wrote that Lafave dated her ex-boyfriend in high school. In June, York wrote, Lafave came to the restaurant where York works to say she could get the boyfriend back if she wanted. Lafave returned to the restaurant in October, Yorkwrote, and said she was reunited with the boyfriend, Andrew Beck, 25.

Lafave bragged that Beck "was good," York wrote.

[The rest of this silliness deleted.]

GLOSSY NOTORIETY: Debra Lafave became a Cosmo girl this month, although the circumstances are hardly glamorous.

Lafave, the 24-year-old former Greco Middle School teacher accused of having sex with a former student last summer, is featured in the October edition of Cosmopolitan.

On page 168 under the headline "Women Who Seduce Teens," Lafave is pictured on the day she turned herself in to Marion County sheriff's officials, with her blond hair pulled into a tight bun and her ice-blue eyes rimmed with smoky charcoal makeup.

The story delves into "what drives these females to commit statutory rape" and cites Lafave's case as the latest involving women accused of having sex with students.

Debra Lafave's attorney says police took inappropriate pictures Updated Sept 13, 2005

Tampa, Florida - At a press conference today, Debra Lafave's Attorney John Fitzgibbons says the Temple Terrace police took inappropriate pictures of her sexual organs during the investigation, and he's working to keep them private.

Fitzgibbons says that because Florida has such a broad public records law, anyone could request the photos and post them on the internet.

He also says that the warrant did not permit police to take these types of photos, and it's hard to discuss the pics without being graphic, but says they are very explicit and likens them to a gynecological exam.

He reiterates that they are very graphic, and says he plans to ask the Temple Terrace Police if this is their practice, and that she would be "raw meat at the hands of the lions in prison, and she's not even safe with the police."

Debra LaFave Redux

The Debra Lafave sex scandal is finding new life on TV, the Orlando Sentinel reports. And how. Here at your major source for DebraNews, our traffic began building in the days before the broadcast, peaked by our pre-broadcast excerpts and reached a flood tide of over five thousand visits an hour. Keep up with all the DebraNews at our Update site. Matt Lauer's interview with the former teacher aired Wednesday on Today and Dateline. "Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said he thought Lafave's interview accomplished two things: giving her side of the story and informing people about bipolar disorder, which he says contributed to her actions." On Thursday morning, MSNBC's Rita Cosby interviewed the mother of the boy Lafave had sex with. The story was covered throughout the day and in primetime. Then on Thursday night, Lauer hosted an MSNBC special, "Crossing the Line." The exact same show aired twice, at 10 and 11pm. Other cablers are getting in on the act, too. ICN says the mother of the boy appeared on On The Record with Greta Van Susteren and the Sentinel says Lafave's ex-husband appeared on Nancy Grace. Via TVnewser

Karen Ellis

May 5, 2005

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian female teacher was jailed for six months Thursday for having sex with a teenage student, with a warning from the judge that future offenders could not expect such "lenient" treatment.

Karen Louise Ellis, a 37-year-old physical education teacher, had earlier received a suspended sentence of 22 months after she pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration with a boy aged under 16.

But the Supreme Court of Victoria's Court of Appeal in Melbourne upheld an appeal by prosecutors against the leniency of that sentence, saying that mother-of-three Ellis should have been sentenced to two years' jail on each of the counts.

Justice Frank Callaway instead imposed a new sentence of two years and eight months. He sent Ellis to jail for six months and suspended the balance of the new sentence for three years.

"This was not a foolish lapse on one occasion that was not repeated. There were six counts and two distinct periods of offending," Callaway said in a written judgment.

He said that "a like offender in the future could not expect the same leniency.

"Men and women are to be treated on their merits and not according to their sex and ... the law is concerned to protect all children from abuse, especially from those in a position of power, authority or trust," Callaway said.

Local media reported that Ellis burst into tears as she was led from the court.

"She's pretty devastated, we're all devastated," Ellis's lawyer Chester Metcalfe told reporters outside the court. "She's taking it pretty hard at the moment, as you can expect."

The original trial had heard that Ellis, then 36, began seeing the boy, identified only as Benjamin, in late 2003.

She first had sex with him in her suburban Melbourne home on Oct. 10 of that year, after which she drove Benjamin, then 15, to a nearby railway station.

A similar pattern was repeated another five times in October and November of that year until the boy's mother saw him getting out of Ellis' car on Nov. 23 and became suspicious.

The court heard the boy had failed school that year and had since become estranged from his family.

Link: Miranda Devine -

Teacher Karen Ellis looked pretty pleased with herself last week, walking free from a Melbourne court with her long-suffering husband after being convicted of having sex with her 15-year-old student.

The 37-year-old mother of three was given a 22-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to six counts of sexual penetration with a child under 16.

During her relationship last year with her year 10 student, she bombarded him with about 500 text messages, drove him to her house after school or had him skip school to have sex, after which she would buy him McDonald's.

Most child abuse experts say what complicates prosecutions is that the victim often doesn't recognise the abuse until years later, if at all, mistaking it for love.

He tendered a victim's impact statement to the court: "I am very capable of making my own decisions and I'm very mature for my age." Victorian County Court Judge, John Smallwood, thought Ellis did not deserve to go to jail, as male teachers have, because of "mitigating" factors, such as the boy's consent.

Read the latest on Debra LaFave.