Debra Lafave has nothing more to worry about.
The former teacher arrested for repeatedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy copped a plea late last year for house arrest and probation in one county, and just had the charges against her dropped in the other. (She faced charges in two counties because she had sex with the minor in both.)
There will be no trial and no prison for her.
Instead, Lafave can now begin her house arrest, followed by seven years of probation. No matter how these penalties might curtail her freedom, they can’t suck as badly as prison.
House arrest is basically a prison correspondence course, where you pay your debt to society in the comfort and convenience of your own home. And probation just means you need to be on your best behavior for a while.
I feel this was a slap on the wrist, and I’ve stated on numerous occasions that she ought to be punished as any man would for the same crime. I’ve already heard all the “He (the victim) enjoyed it” and “He agreed to it” arguments I care to about this case.
There’s a double standard where it comes to women sex offenders; Mary Kay Letourneau was given sufficient freedom after her arrest to conceive a child with her student boy-toy, and only then was sentenced to seven years. It seems we have a hard time seeing male teens as victims in sex cases.
Like the guilty often do, Lafave blames her actions on a compromised mental state, and talks of God, forgiveness and redemption. Man, the lawyers just don’t have any new angles, do they?
It’ll be interesting to see what Lafave does with her life during and after her “incarceration,” though we may never know; she is rightfully not permitted to profit from her story (no books, no movies), and I imagine a name and appearance change will be in the works for her.
While Lafave may be able to regain her anonymity, her name has gotten sufficient enough exposure that it will live on in our scandal-hungry culture the way the names Lewinsky, Letourneau and Dahmer have. Considering that’s a possible life sentence, maybe justice has been done.