Former teacher Stephanie Ragusa will be sentenced today after admitting to sex with two teenage boys

June 28th, 2010 by

TAMPA — Stephanie Ragusa, the former teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with two teenage boys, will be sentenced this afternoon.

She faces up to 10 years in prison.

The boys attended Davidsen Middle School, where Ragusa taught special education.

The 14-year-old had been assigned to push Ragusa’s wheelchair around school after she broke her foot. She told him he seemed shy and that she could help him overcome that, authorities said. They had sex that afternoon in her apartment, the first of three sexual encounters authorities said spanned the school year that ended in May 2007.

In April, she pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd and lascivious battery.

The 16-year-old and she had sex about 20 times, authorities said, in encounters that continued even after she had been arrested and told to stay away from him. Assistant state attorney Rita Peters said Ragusa bought the boy clothes, named him executor of her will and professed her love in a letter that the state obtained.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped seven counts against her in that case. She pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Ragusa, 31, has spent two years in jail. She would have faced 22 to 45 years in prison had a jury found her guilty of all the charges.

Instead, her sentence is capped at 10 years in prison and 10 years probation, or 15 years combined.

Attorneys expect a lengthy hearing today.


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