A former Pennsylvania teacher caught having sex with a 17-year-old student was handed a 30-day sentence by a judge who described the woman as "dangling candy" in front of her teenage victim.
Erica Ann Ginnetti, 35, was arrested in January in Lower Moreland after police were tipped off when the victim showed photos and videos of the woman to his classmates. According to court records, the photos included images of Ginnetti in a bikini, and others in just her underwear or thong. A video sent to the teen showed her undressing in a "sexually charged manner."
The teacher and student were in frequent contact in July 2013, after the two had sex in her car parked at an industrial park.
Ginnetti pleaded guilty last year to sexual assault and disseminating sexually explicit materials. The maximum sentence for the two crimes was seven to 14 years behind bars, Philly.com reports. Instead, Judge Garrett D. Page gave the woman just 30 days of jail time. Ginnetti will also have to register as a sex offender.
Ginnetti seen dancing at a Lower Moreland High School function.
At her sentencing hearing last Friday, Ginnetti cried in court while reading a letter of apology. The judge then compared explicit photos of the woman to "dangling candy" in front of her victim, the Bucks County Courier Time reports.
“What young man would not jump on that candy?” Page said.
Ginnetti now works at a gym as a fitness instructor. She said in court that she regularly volunteers at her church, and is rebuilding her relationship with her husband and three children.
"I don't believe you're a bad human being," Page told Ginnetti. "You did a bad act. So I have to punish you."
Assistant District Attorney Sophia Polites said the teen's grades dropped significantly following the incident, and that even today he has trouble in social interactions.
"He had a point in his life that was dark," Polites said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Ginnette's 30-day sentence was for statutory rape. She was sentenced on charges of institutional sexual assault and disseminating obscene and other materials to a minor.
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