When a New Smyrna Beach Middle School student’s grades started to plummet, his parents didn’t suspect it might be connected to the amount of time he was spending with his former science teacher.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 26-year-old Stephanie Peterson Ferri taught the eighth grade student at the Florida school last year.
But in November 2017, she targeted the teen for a much different relationship.Loretha Lyon/Facebook
The married science teacher allegedly started sending the 14-year-old boy nude photos of herself, which quickly escalated into a sexual relationship, police said in a statement.
Ferri kept their relationship hidden by picking up the young boy late at night.
She would ask him to sneak out of his home around 11 p.m. before taking him to her home in Edgewater.
They would then engage in sex and sometimes smoke marijuana that she provided, said police. Ferri would often return him home around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
According to police, she told the 14-year-old that he wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about their sexual relationship or they’d “get in trouble.”
As the months went on, police said the boy’s grades “suffered” as the teen boy started to “frequent her classroom often.”
Last week, the 14-year-old finally broke down to his parents and told them what had been going on.Volusia County Sheriff’s Office
The teen allegedly told his parents what happened after they made a joke about one of his male teachers acting “weird,” and implied that he could molest their son, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Unexpectedly, the teen started crying and told his parents: “Anyone could molest you.”
He then reported the relationship to police and Ferri was arrested Wednesday morning, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
She was charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor and is currently being held on $25,000 bond.
Ferri resigned from her teaching position on Monday and is currently in the process of getting divorced from her husband, who is a local firefighter.
The 26-year-old had been teaching at the school since August 2016.