Stephanie Amato, a special education teacher at Ethan Allen Elementary in Philadelphia has been arrested for sleeping with a 14-year-old student. Authorities are calling the sex "consensual but illegal" due to the student's age. No. It was rape. We need to stop using euphemisms because minors can't consent.
Amato's crimes came to light in April and, after a month of investigation, the teacher had to turn herself in to police. On the eve of her surrender, she apparently hung out with and took photos with students, many of them inappropriate. But as Uproxx points out, at least she got 19 likes when she posted them to Facebook? That's ten more than I get on anything I post. Ugh. This is no time for jokes, because the fact that this woman not only had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old, but a 14-year-old who had special needs and then still didn't think there was anything wrong partying with her students (and posting the photos) right before her arrest is fucking awful. How did she get away with any of this?
Authorities say that Amato and her victim had at least ten sexual encounters, both at her home and in her car. Police have uncovered explicit text messages that the two sent to each other in which Amato warns the minor not to tell anyone about their relationship. The chid's father is understandably outraged and is demanding justice. He told Action News: "I was very upset. She took my kid's youth and I really want justice to take care of this woman."
According to the victim's father, the boy is not swaggering around school bragging about his conquest in the way we're often led to believe that boys who have sex with "hot older women" do. In fact, the minor is refusing to go back to to Ethan Allen: "He's not doing too well, he doesn't want to go to school. He feels humiliated, since that happened he changed," said his father.
The school district has released a statement:
The School District of Philadelphia was informed this morning by the Philadelphia Police Department that Stephanie M. Amato, a special education teacher at Ethan Allen Elementary School, was arrested for allegations of sexual contact with a minor.
The arrest did not occur at or near our school.
Ms. Amato was relocated to a School District administrative office at the time the allegation was initially made.
The School District and our school are working closely with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted.
Action News is reporting that Amato has been charged with Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Interference with Custody of Children, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Corruption of a Minor, Indecent Assault, and Indecent Exposure. That sounds a lot more serious than "consensual but illegal sex." Amato is currently out on bail.
Image via Action News