A school teacher, whose father was the mayor of Lodi, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with exchanging explicit photos and videos and having sex with a minor.
Stephanie Carafa, a 32-year-old third-grade teacher from New Jersey, was arrested after allegedly sending nude photos of herself to a 13-year-old boy, one of her former students, and engaging in sexual contact with him. This came to light after an investigation into explicit images of underage girls being circulated among students at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Lodi, New Jersey.
During the investigation, the students also claimed that they had explicit photos and videos of Carafa. Investigators discovered that Carafa had exchanged sexual texts with the boy, in addition to sending explicit photos and videos. The boy admitted to the relationship and explained that over the course of four to seven after-school meetings, Carafa would call him into her classroom and engage in inappropriate behavior.
According to an arrest warrant, Carafa shared multiple naked and scantily clad images and videos of herself with the boy and touched him sexually over his clothes while allowing him to touch her over hers. They also had lengthy conversations on Snapchat, including discussions about Carafa’s sexual preferences, and she allegedly asked for pictures of the boy, who she had previously taught in the third, fifth, and seventh grades before their relationship turned sexual.
During court proceedings, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Kristin DeMarco alleged that Carafa called the boy into her classroom during after-school meetings and would shut the door and close the blinds before kissing and touching him inappropriately. Carafa’s attorney argued that the photos don’t show her face and could have been hacked from her phone. He also suggested that the boy was bragging about the photos to friends and had implicated Carafa to avoid getting into trouble.
Carafa, the daughter of Lodi’s longtime mayor and an elementary school principal in the Lodi School District, was placed on paid leave and was eventually arrested. She faced one count of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of aggravated criminal sexual contact.
In addition to the criminal charges, Carafa also faced civil charges after the boy filed a lawsuit. The civil complaint alleged that Carafa exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the boy every day and that he was encouraged to touch her sexually in her classroom.
The boy sued Carafa, the Board of Education, the former school superintendent, and the former principal of the school, alleging that he was a victim of “sexual assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, child endangerment, negligence, breach of constitutional duty and violating the child sexual abuse act.” He sought both actual and punitive damages.
The case highlights the need to protect all children from predators, regardless of gender, and calls for a stronger response to female educators who abuse their position and male students.
Watch the video below for more details: