Second Plea for Tampa Teacher to Avoid Jail in Student Sex Case

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Debra Lafave, once a promising young teacher and now an admitted child molester, was back in court to see if the judge would accept a new plea agreement.

Lafave was convicted late last year of two counts of lewd and lascivious battery for having had sex with a 14-year-old boy in her home and in a Florida classroom.

Prosecutors reached a plea agreement with Lafave that required her to register as a sex offender and serve three years of house arrest but no prison time. A judge rejected that proposal in December.

Lafave and her lawyers returned to court Wednesday with a similar deal that still included no prison sentence. The judge said he'd decide within 10 days whether to accept or reject this new deal.

Observers have wondered aloud whether a double standard is playing out in this case, accusing the prosecution of going easy on Lafave because she is a female sex offender with a male victim.

"It has nothing to do with the idea that she is too attractive to go to jail," said prosecutor Ric Ridgway, chief assistant state attorney.

The prosecution and the victim's family hope to avoid a trial that would require testimony from him and, according to expert testimony, cause him further damage.

"Testifying in court is not what's going to cause him harm, and I think the therapist and the prosecutor and the judge need to put the blame where it belongs, on the sexual predator who preyed on this child," said ABC News legal contributor Lisa Bloom.

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