• Former Florida teacher accused of having sex with 8th-grader

    By: Kelly Healey


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    A former New Smyrna Beach Middle School teacher was arrested Wednesday on charges of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student and sending him nude photos, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.


    Stephanie Peterson, 26, also known as Stephanie Ferri, was charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor, according to a news release.


    Detectives said the relationship is believed to have started in November.


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    A detective responded to the teen’s home on Tuesday after the student disclosed the relationship to his parents, deputies said.


    The eighth-grade student told detectives that Peterson would send him nude photos, and would go to his home at night, picking him up at about 11 p.m. and bringing him back hours later, the release said.


    Detectives said the teen told them that Peterson asked him not to tell anyone about their relationship or they would get into trouble. The teen also said Peterson bought him marijuana and bowls for smoking it. He said that his grades suffered after the relationship started.


    Peterson is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. 


    She resigned her teaching position on Monday, according to the school district officials.


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