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Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Teacher in Student Sex Case

State prosecutors are dropping the charges against a former Tampa teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student.

The decision comes hours after a judge rejected a plea deal that would have meant no prison time for Debra LaFave.

The prosecutor's decision means she won't go to trial and the victim won't have to testify. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and the boy's mother wanted to avoid trial for the teen's well-being because the case has received intense media coverage around the world.

A psychiatrist previously told a Marion County judge that the boy has suffered extreme anxiety from that and does not want to testify. But the judge said the lack of prison time “shocks the conscience of this court.”

But Assistant State Attorney Richard Ridgway later said he was not willing to risk the well-being of the victims in this case to force it to trial.


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