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Sex with student brings no jail time for Lafave
Amid a media frenzy and at the urging of her victim's family, prosecutors accept a plea deal from former teacher Debra Lafave
By CANDACE RONDEAUX, Times Staff Writer
Published November 23, 2005
Details of Lafave's past and the student's experiences with her became clearer Tuesday afternoon after the State Attorney's Office released hundreds of pages of documents that could have been aired at trial. The papers include interviews with Lafave's former husband, Kristian Owen Lafave, 27, as well as a woman she dated in high school and a co-worker.
Some supported Fitzgibbons' claims about her battle with mental illness and the trauma she suffered when she was raped at 13.
Lafave's former East Bay High schoolmate and lover, Casie Diana Martinez, told prosecutors that the teenage Lafave had struggled with her sexuality and self-image.
"Really, that was from her mom pressuring her to a music career and trying to fit that mold of being thin, being a star, you know, fitting that role of being on stage," Martinez said.
Last year, Lafave's attorney said he planned to raise an insanity defense. A psychologist hired by the state concluded Lafave was sane when she had sex with the boy. But several psychiatrists have since evaluated her and several, Fitzgibbons said, determined that trauma she suffered after she was raped at 13 and her subsequent mental illness may have led her to actions.
"If we were at trial, the doctors would be explaining how trauma over the years has affected Debbie. These traumatic events have an effect on her bi-polar illness. It was my feeling that any juror who listened to the testimony of all the difficulties Debbie has gone through would have found it a very sad and compelling story," Fitzgibbons said. [...]