A special education teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student in Philadelphia surrendered to authorities on Wednesday. Stephanie Amato, 30, who teaches eighth-grade classes at Ethan Allen School, reportedly had sex with the student at least 10 times.
— Victor Fiorillo (@VictorFiorillo) June 5, 2014
The incidents occurred this year, in March and April, in her car and at her home. It is unclear whether the male was one of her students. Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard said allegations against Amato were first made in April. City police were then contacted by school officials, and she was removed from her teacher’s role pending an investigation, but still received pay. The victim’s father has since removed him from the school.
On Wednesday, Amato, who was a teacher for six years, surrendered to authorities, a police spokeswoman said. According to Police Officer Jillian Russell, the 30-year-old is charged with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, 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.
It's the latest in a string of recent reports of teachers having affairs with students. In April, Felicia A. Smith, a middle school teacher, reportedly gave a student a lap dance at Stovall Middle School in Texas.
According to court documents, a 15-year-old male student told Smith in February that it was his birthday. He said other students in the classroom then prompted him to sit in a chair at the front of the room. Then Smith gave him a lap dance with full-on contact for about four minutes while a song played.
The 42-year-old teacher reportedly told the boy afterward, “I love you, baby, happy birthday,” while hugging him. Smith told police she performed the lap dance because her class persuaded her to do so.
In February, a Connecticut gym teacher was charged with sexual assault, after reportedly having a monthlong affair with a male student. Meghan Eagan, 25, had four sexual encounters with the victim, whose age was not revealed.
In December, Utah high school teacher Brianne Altice, 34, was charged with three counts of rape, a first-degree felony, after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. Altice, who teaches English at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah, was placed on paid administrative leave. Police are investigating whether there are more victims.