Saturday, August 9, 2008

Text messages show teacher wanted love, student wanted car

Money can't buy me love...

TAMPA — In March, Stephanie Ragusa sent a text message to a former middle school student, one of hundreds of messages the pair would trade.

"I loved today," she wrote, according to court documents released Thursday. "The sex was amazing."

The boy replied, "YES I KNOW!"

"I keep smiling about it thinking about it," she said. "U know. Those smiles u love to see and I only do around u!"

She depended on him in sickness: He told her to text him when she was throwing up. She thought of him even in the possibility of her death: She bequeathed a portion of her life insurance to him.

Her handwritten will and the text message records were included in pages of discovery material prosecutors released.

The evidence portrays Ragusa as a woman trying to prod a sometimes angry teen into an adult relationship. She talked about planning romantic dates and having heart-to-heart talks. He talked about the money she was going to give him for a car. And they both talked about sex.

"I love you. Hurry back. Miss u already," Ragusa said in a March 1 text message.

"I JUST left calm down," the boy responded 35 seconds later.

Ragusa, 29, has been charged with having sex with two male students at Davidsen Middle School. She has been in jail since April 28 after detectives caught her leaving the home of a prior victim, her third arrest on sex charges since March.

The material released Thursday relates to just one victim, a boy who turned 16 while Ragusa had an alleged relationship with him. Investigators have DNA from the boy, Ragusa and a T-shirt, records show. The boy told detectives the two had sex more than 100 times after meeting in February 2007 at school. Ragusa wrote the boy's parents a memo on school district letterhead saying he had been selected for mentoring.

On March 2, Ragusa sent the teen a text wanting to meet up.

Ragusa: "Lets try to do something romantic, different."

More salacious details here.

Note from Gag:

Jeez, Stephanie, I would have been a much cheaper date and I never kiss and tell. Unless you wanted me to...

Additional coverage below:

TAMPA — Former Hillsborough County middle school teacher Stephanie Ragusa sent a text message to the boy to say she was freaking out because the Hillsborough County School District’s office of professional standards kept calling her.

Hours later, though, she sent him another message. She wanted to let him know how good the sex had been between them that day. He agreed, and she messaged him back.

“I love that u can change my whole mood,” she wrote. “Bring me up when I feel down. Its magical.”

The conversations were included among hundreds of pages of discovery documents released Thursday by the State Attorney’s Office. The documents also include Ragusa’s last will and testament, in which she addresses the same student.

Ragusa is in Falkenburg Road Jail, accused of having sex with two students. She declined to comment Thursday.

According to the documents, the evidence against her includes a love letter addressed by Ragusa, the will, DNA test results, a Christmas card and key chain given to a student by Ragusa, text messages and a cell phone video of Ragusa kissing a student on April 28.

“Please finish school,” Ragusa wrote to the boy in the will. “I cannot believe how lucky I was to have met you. Deep down, you are so warm + caring. Meet your potential.” ...

From NBC4