A 26-year-old woman who had just quit her job as a middle school teacher in Florida was arrested Wednesday for allegedly having a secret sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy, police said. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that the teen said Stephanie Peterson also sent him nude photos.
Peterson, also known as Stephanie Ferri, was arrested on two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful materials to a minor, the sheriff's office said.
She was booked into a county jail, and an online inmate search showed that she remained in custody Thursday morning. Her charges carry $25,000 bond.
Investigators believe the relationship started in November. Sheriff Michael Chitwood told CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV that the teen, who police only identified as an 8th grader, was Peterson's student last year and became her teacher's aide this year.
The teen told detectives on Tuesday that Peterson would occasionally pick him up at his home around 11 p.m. and drop him off between two and three hours later. The police were called after the teen told his parents about the relationship.
The teen told investigators that Peterson would give him marijuana and that his grades fell after the relationship began.
Peterson told the teen that the relationship had to be a secret or they would get into trouble, the sheriff's office said.
Peterson quit her job at New Smyrna Beach Middle School on Monday, the sheriff's office said, citing the school district. WKMG-TV reports that she was a science teacher.