TAMPA, Florida (AP) -- A female teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old middle school student, avoiding prison as part of a plea agreement.
Debra Lafave, 25, whose sensational case made tabloid headlines, will serve three years of house arrest and seven years' probation. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery.
The former Greco Middle School reading teacher apologized during the hearing, saying that "I accept full responsibility for my actions."
The boy told investigators the two had sex in a classroom at the Greco school, located in Temple Terrace near Tampa, in her Riverview town house and once in a vehicle while his 15-year-old cousin drove them around Marion County.
If convicted at trial, she could have faced up to 15 years in prison on each count. The plea agreement also was designed to resolve similar charges pending in Marion County.
Her attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said in July that plea negotiations had broken off because prosecutors had insisted on prison time.
He said she planned to plead insanity at trial, claiming that emotional stress kept her from knowing right from wrong.