Teacher accused of sex with student pleads not guilty - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Teacher accused of sex with student pleads not guilty

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24-year-old Eric Beasley 24-year-old Eric Beasley

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida teacher who was charged with having a sexual relationship with a student pleaded not guilty to federal sexual assault charges in court Friday.

After being released from jail on state charges, 24-year-old Eric Beasley was arrested by the feds accused of using a cell phone to entice or coerce one of his 14-year-old students at Zion Lutheran Christian School, in Deerfield Beach, into engaging in sexual activity.

Beasley's girlfriend appeared in court supporting his request to be released on bond. The judge ruled he should stay put, saying he could be a danger to the community. Beasley's attorney, John Contini, disagrees. "He was free for six days after the state arrest," he noted, "and he never reached out to the alleged victim, never did anything inappropriate whatsoever. A lot of letters from the community speaking to his character, selflessness, kindness and integrity were produced."

Police said they caught him in he act with the teen in the back of a car. Police said Beasley also used a cell phone to entice or coerce the teen and sent her a sexually explicit video, picture and texts. Beasley faces federal sexual assault charges, and if convicted, he could face 10 years to life in prison.

His defense attorney said the court is reviewing the evidence against Beasley, and said it's still too early to predict an outcome. "Sometimes the police do everything right and sometimes they don't, and sometimes it's fair and sometimes it's not. So we need to look at all of that, and we're not accusing anybody of doing anything inappropriate right now ... We're just simply saying it's premature to comment on that," said Contini.

Beasley is currently on unpaid administrative leave.


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