Click to view image: 'Lisa Robyn Marinelli'
NEW PORT RICHEY - A young victim's desire to move on with his life probably spared Lisa Marinelli something worse.
But the punishment handed down today to the former substitute teacher for having sex with a 17-year-old student still brings a myriad of stringent and humiliating conditions.
Marinelli, 41, pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, part of a negotiated deal that allowed her to avoid prison. Instead, she was sentenced to a year of house arrest followed by four years of sex offender probation.
Among the conditions: a 10 p.m. curfew; listing on the state's sex offender registry; warrantless searches of her person, house and car.
She cannot have unsupervised contact with children younger than 18, except her son and daughter. She can't work, volunteer or live near areas where children normally congregate. Prosecutors allowed an exception for her house, which is within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop in the Fairway Springs subdivision.
In agreeing to the deal, Marinelli decided to live with the felony conviction instead of going to trial and facing a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison. Lawyer Kevin Piccarreto said his client also considered her family in deciding to end her case.
"I think she is relieved for herself and her family," Piccarreto said. "They can put this behind them and move on without being disrupted by what's been going on for the past couple of years."
- If she has to live with the same rules all other offenders do, then she won't be able to "put this behind her!"
Marinelli gave brief answers to Judge Michael Andrews' questions during the plea hearing. She made no statement and left the courthouse without comment.
The victim's parents also signed off on the deal, partly to spare their son from testifying at trial and partly to help him move on with his life.
The victim, now 18, will graduate from high school in the next few weeks and is getting ready to go to college, Assistant State Attorney Eva Vergos said. He and his parents attended Marinelli's plea hearing but left without comment.
The Tampa Tribune does not identify victims of sex crimes.
Marinelli, who worked primarily at J.W. Mitchell High School, was arrested in March 2008 following a month-long investigation by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The inquiry began after investigators received a complaint from the student's father.
The father told investigators he saw his son holding his pants together as he got out of Marinelli's car Feb. 27, 2008. Investigators said the teen told them he had sex with Marinelli 10 times between Jan. 12 and Feb. 27, 2008.
Most of the encounters happened in Marinelli's car in and around the Longleaf community, according to an arrest affidavit.
The school district fired Marinelli two days after learning of the allegations.
Tags: sex, sexual, offender, issues, female offender, teacher, florida
Location: New Port Richey, Florida, United States (load item map)
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