Sex scandal teacher Debra LaFave has turned life around, friend says

Infamous Florida school teacher Debra LeFave, known for having a sexual relationship with a young student, has turned over a new leaf, according to her biographer.

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Lafave made headlines in 2004 when she was arrested on charges related to having an illicit sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student while she was his 24-year-old school teacher.

The Tampa-based Lafave immediately became a household name when court documents revealed she had had sex with the teen three times in four days, and once while his 15-year-old cousin was driving the pair around, People magazine reported.

Lafave reportedly said in court, “My greatest regret would probably be the fact that I put this young man through this.”

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In a period when sex scandals featuring female teachers was still considered an oddity, Lafave’s attractive blonde looks branded her an easily recognizable face.

She was sentenced in 2006 to three years house arrest and seven years probation and had to register as a sex offender.

According to Joe Zuniga, friend and author of “Debra Lafave: A Crown of Beauty for Ashes”, a self-published book about her experiences, Lafave has turned her life around since her 2004 arrest.

"She's a completely different person than she was when she was 24," Zuniga told People.

“She has grown up a lot. She has become a Christian, and she’s a great mom. She recently got married, and she just ignores the media. She knows it will always be there, but she focuses on her life now. It’s very normal,” he said

At 37 Lafave is still easily recognizable, but Zuniga said she has avoided the limelight since getting married and having twins.

“Everyone contacts her to tell her story,” said Zuniga. “I’ve asked her why she wouldn’t, and she says she’s just not interested in the attention. She wants to just live her life as a wife and mom.”

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