Debra Jean Beasley (born August 28, 1980) is a former reading teacher
at Angelo L. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida when she
was charged with several counts of having illegal sex with a minor in
LaFave claimed she was raped by a schoolmate at age 13. She sang
professionally, did some modeling, and had several relationships. After
a high school lesbian affair was discovered, she entered therapy.
She graduated from the University of South Florida, and began teaching
remedial reading. Highly popular with the students, she occasionally
dressed inappropriately, sometimes wearing a very short skirt or a
low-cut blouse showing cleavage.
According to the book Gorgeous Disaster, by her ex-husband Owen Lafave,
she met the 14-year-old student at an after-school tag football game.
The relationship developed over a period of weeks. Shortly after school
ended for the year, she drove the boy to her home and performed
fellatio on him. From then, the relationship turned intimate; they had
sex in the back of her SUV while it was being driven by the boy's
The boy's mother soon learned of the affair and notified the police.
They tape-recorded conversations between the lovers, then arrested
LaFave when she drove to the boy's home to pick him up. The boy gave
police an accurate description of her tattoos, tan lines, and pubic
area. One European newspaper published the boy's name and photo; legal
action by his mother led to it being removed from the paper's website.
Because sexual activity took place in two different counties, two
separate sets of charges were filed. A trial date was set for December
5 at a court hearing after the prosecution and the defense could not
agree on a plea bargain. The prosecution's plea deal involved prison
time, which Debra and her parents found unacceptable. Debra's defense
attorney caused a national stir that made headlines by remarking to the
media that "To place Debbie into a Florida state women's penitentiary,
to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hell hole, is like
putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions." Owen LaFave's book
suggests that this statement was an intentional ploy by the attorney.
Owen LaFave's book reports that the Temple Terrace police ordered
photographs be taken of Lafave's genital area while her feet were bound
up in stirrups.
Shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin, the boy's mother, who
had been insisting that Debra serve time in prison, learned that the
trial was to be covered by Court TV and changed her stance, agreeing to
a plea bargain with no prison time to save her son from having to
testify in court. A new plea agreement was quickly worked out.
On November 22, 2005, Debra pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three
years of Community Control (house arrest) and seven years of probation,
along with a string of other requirements.
However, on December 8, 2005, the judge in the second county refused to
accept plea-agreement terms that included no prison time, and set a
trial date for April 10, 2006. In an unusual act, the prosecutor
announced the charges were being dropped, in effect overruling the
LaFave is serving probation until 2015 and her teaching certificate has been revoked.
LaFave attributed her indiscretions to bipolar disorder, previously
known as manic depression, which is associated with intense and
irregular mood swings and with hypersexuality and poor judgment during
On September 29, 2006, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter stated on the Howard
Stern show that he lost his virginity to Debra Lafave when they were