A New Smyrna Beach Middle School teacher in Florida was arrested Wednesday after it was alleged that she carried on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student, studying in eighth grade and also sent him nude photos of herself. The alleged inappropriate relationship dates back to November 2017, according to the student.
Volusia County sheriff’s detectives arrested Stephanie Peterson Ferri, 26, also known as Stephanie Ferri, on Wednesday morning and charged her with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor. Ferri resigned from the school Monday. Her student was first interviewed by the authorities on Tuesday, after he told his parents about the relationship.
An affidavit also stated that during their alleged relationship, the suspect would pick up the teen at his house late at night around 11 p.m. EST, after her husband went to work and the two would go back to her place to have sex, following which she would get him back home around 1 or 2 a.m. EST.
Court documents stated that Ferri filed for divorce from her husband, Brandon Ferri, on Feb. 12. The couple had been married since Dec. 5, 2015.
Ferri’s father, Phillip Peterson, who is a New Smyrna Beach attorney represents his daughter in her ongoing divorce case. He did not comment on the alleged relationship his daughter had with her student.
Ferri’s husband Brandon, who is a firefighter, also did not comment.
A school district spokeswoman told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Ferri began working in the district as a substitute teacher in October 2010. Following this, she worked as a reading teacher with the Creekside Middle School in Port Orange before starting her job in New Smyrna Middle School in August 2016, where she was a science teacher. When asked the reason for her resignation, a school spokeswoman said the reason cited was “personal.”
Ferri was also accused of buying the student marijuana and bowls to smoke it. The boy, whose identity has not been revealed, also told the authorities that Ferri told him they could not tell anyone about their relationship or they would get into trouble, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He also added that his grades suffered after their relationship started.
An investigator had been provided with provocative photos of Ferri, including one of her nudes in the shower, according to the arrest affidavit. Further, the authorities stated that the two of them exchanged photos of their private parts and Ferri would send her photos using a Snapchat account.
Ferri was taken into custody Wednesday, interviewed about the alleged relationship and then brought to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where she was being held. Her bail has been put at $25,000.
New Smyrna Beach Middle School Principal Elizabeth Johnson recorded a phone message, obtained by the Daytona Beach News Journal, for parents that notified them that Ferri had already been arrested and she was no longer allowed on school property. Parents were expected to receive that message at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday.