TAMPA, Florida - On the day a Florida teen should have been celebrating his 14th birthday he instead spent it telling a judge and jury about alleged sexual abuse at the hands of his teacher when he was just 12 years old.
The boy, who was not identified because of his age, said the sexual contact started four or five weeks into the tutoring sessions he had with Ethel Anderson.
He said, "She would rub on my legs, kiss on my ears, neck, and stuff like that."
Anderson was 29 years old when she allegedly took things too far while tutoring the boy in math at the Riverside home she shared with her husband and kids.
The alleged victim said Anderson touched him and performed oral sex on him. "We would make out and tongue kiss," he said.
Anderson, a former Teacher of the Year at Mango Elementary School in Seffner, broke down in tears before eventually taking the stand in her own defense. She denied having any sexual contact with the boy and said he threatened to get her in trouble.
She said, "That is when he made the comment 'keep playing you're gonna lose your child.'"
Anderson admitted to sending the student more than 230 pages of explicit text messages. She said the texts about porn and sexual acts shown in court were just "sexual therapy," a fantasy to motivate the "troubled student" into becoming a better student.
She told the court, "At the time, with him struggling with school and having behavioral issues and anger issues, acting out at home and not being able to connect with his family, the way that he and his parents felt, that was my purpose. To gain his attention and, yes, I did it in an inappropriate way."
Closing arguments are set for Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. If Anderson is convicted, she could spend 30 years behind bars.
(Copyright 2013 by Gannett Co. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )