Ragusa had ‘Abuse’ Ploy

August 4th, 2009 by

TAMPA - The former teacher at the center of a notorious sex case apparently tried cutting herself behind bars so she could blame it on guards, an incident report obtained Monday states.

An Orient Road Jail staff member was told that inmate Stephanie Ragusa was “apparently inflicting wounds to herself, on her legs and arms” so she could blame jail deputies, the Dec. 14 report states.

In Ragusa’s cell, Hillsborough County detention deputies found jail-made alcohol in a Milk of Magnesia bottle, ink mixed with grease in a medical cup, a staple readied for tattooing and an unknown substance in a Noxema container, the report states.

Ragusa, a 30-year-old former Hillsborough County teacher, was arrested last year and is being held on charges that she molested two boys.

Late last year, an inmate who wished to remain anonymous told a detention deputy that she overheard Ragusa say she would implicate deputies “in matters of supposed mistreatment” behind bars, the report states. After being told Ragusa was cutting herself and planning to blame deputies, jail personnel called the medical unit and spoke with a nurse.

According to the incident report, Ragusa was to be placed in administrative confinement, and a search of her cell led to discovery of the contraband, which was removed.

Ragusa’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

She declined to comment, according to a jail official.

In a second incident report, a corporal told Lt. Susan Ball there was “additional manipulative behavior” exhibited by Ragusa. “It should be noted that I spoke with inmate Ragusa and found her to be deceptive in her remarks and explanations for her behaviors both here and at the Falkenburg Road Jail,” Ball wrote Feb. 21. “She was contradictive in her own statements and refused to accept responsibility for her behaviors.”

Ragusa was arrested in March 2008, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy. She was arrested again a month later after investigators identified another victim. Investigators say that two weeks after the second arrest, Ragusa drove her boyfriend’s truck to the 16-year-old’s house and had sex with him.

She remains without bail at Orient Road Jail.


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