Stephanie Amato, a 33-year-old special education teacher who pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with her 14-year-old student, blamed her actions on a heroin addiction during a recent court appearance.
On Tuesday, May 2, Amato was sentenced to serve between 11.5 to 23 months in prison. Amato, who previously taught at the Ethan Allen Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was also ordered to register as a convicted sex offender.
Amato, who is the mother of a seven-month-old son, claims she started abusing prescription opioids before she began using heroin every day. Allegations were first brought against Amato in 2014, when she was removed from her position until the completion of an investigation.
Via The Inquirer:
Stephanie Amato left a Philadelphia courtroom with an 11½-to-23-month prison sentence and the label of sex offender after pleading guilty to a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.
Defense attorney Trevan Borum told Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart that Amato began “recreational use” of prescription opioid narcotics in 2010 and that by the time of her arrest in June 2014 she was snorting heroin every day.
Borum said Amato underwent inpatient drug treatment in 2013 and 2014 and relapsed both times. Borum asked for probation for Amato, telling Minehart that the criminal offense was her first, that she was sober, and that she was the single mother of a 7-month-old son.
According to Amato’s attorney, she underwent treatment in 2013 and 2014, but relapsed both times.
Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart said: ‘I know drugs were involved, and that affects everything, but I understand that it’s not controlling of this behavior.’
Furthermore, Amato will also be put on 10 years of reporting probation and barred from contacting juveniles. She’ll also have to register her address and report herself four times a year as a convicted sex offender.