May 9, Updated: June 1, at No one, she told the boy, would understand. During a minute phone conversation March 12, the middle school teacher expressed concern to the teen about what would happen if their relationship became known. She said it was no joke, that she didn't "want to wear an orange jumpsuit, and it wouldn't be from you because you couldn't leave your house without someone trying to shove a camera in your face wanting you to talk about it.
The next day, an investigator picked up the equipment and listened to a recording of the phone. Ragusa then was arrested. She has been charged with having sex with two underage students. Hillsborough County deputies say she likely had sex with other students as well. The day Ragusa was arrested, she was questioned by investigators, according to one of the reports released Thursday.
Ragusa denied any sexual activity and told deputies she would go beyond the average teacher to help her students, the report states.
She said the parents knew she would take the students places in her sport utility vehicle to help them with school. She said her boyfriend warned her not to become a teacher because of the possibility of such allegations.
When investigators asked whether she had sex with one of the boys, she said she did not want to discuss it further without an attorney or teacher union representative present. Surprise At The Party Ragusa's behavior also caught the attention of parents. One parent told sheriff's investigators that Ragusa arrived at a party a year ago this week with teenagers and was dressed inappropriately, another report states.
Other parents commented on her clothing. Maribel DeLeon and Luis Rodriguez told the Tribune they remembered Ragusa showing up at their house on May 4, , wearing a miniskirt and tiny tank top.
She was holding a raspberry wine cooler. Ragusa told them she was a teacher and that the students had invited her. Throughout the night, the couple kept a close eye on Ragusa.
Students treated her like their best friend. DeLeon remembered talking with other parents about the possibility that Ragusa had "something going on" with one of the students. They didn't have any proof, though, DeLeon said. At one point, Ragusa left the party with a male student, DeLeon said. When they returned, the teen was driving Ragusa's car. Ragusa stayed until the end of the evening. The next time DeLeon and Rodriguez saw her, "she was on the news. What a surprise,'" Rodriguez recalled sarcastically.
When DeLeon asked her daughter about Ragusa's allegations, "she said she knew about it," DeLeon said. He told her about the party at DeLeon's house. The teen left the dance in the middle of the evening and went to the party. Later, Ragusa arrived with a former Davidsen Middle School student and her brother. That night, when the teen returned home, he found Ragusa sleeping alone in his older brother's room. The documents also state a teacher caught students passing a note about Ragusa a week after her arrest.
The note stated Ragusa may have been sexually involved with other current or former Davidsen students. The note read, in part, "Ms. Ragusa got arrested cuz some knucklehead got caught talking about it. A boy who wrote part of the note told deputies that several students thought Ragusa may have been sexually involved with other male students because of her close relationships with them.
The note writer told deputies he wasn't sure. Deputies interviewed two or three of the students identified in the note, but they denied having sex with Ragusa, the documents state. An investigation into Ragusa is continuing. Deputies think other victims exist, and the sheriff's office is asking for them to come forward, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said Thursday. Investigation Sparked By Schoolyard Gossip The investigation into Ragusa's activities started when a girl at Davidsen told a school resource officer she had heard that Ragusa had sex with a student, according to reports.
The resource officer told the principal, who told deputies. When deputies first interviewed a victim, they said, he denied having sex with Ragusa. Asked to complete a written statement to that effect, he recanted and said he could not lie. The boy began cooperating and allowed deputies to record a telephone conversation with the teacher. During the conversation, the boy asked Ragusa whether she had sex with other students.
Ragusa told the boy she would be concerned about her family were she arrested. She said she wasn't sure who would take care of her disabled brother if something happened to her father and she was in jail. The boy asked what was so wrong with what they had done. She told the boy she didn't like talking about it on the phone because people listen in to cell phones. She said she was concerned that what they had done would become a big news story.
Look at freaking tabloids, Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton and all that stupid" stuff. Ragusa told the boy she was looking into going to law school and was worried there would be no statute of limitations on what they had done. She said she wouldn't tell anybody about their relationship.
Like, you know, it's not like they're - it's not like they're going to meet you and be like, 'Oh, OK. Now that I met him he's nice. He's cool,'" you know? It's like a real old guy going after really young girls, you know? That's what they would see it as.
Investigators accused her of having sex at least three times with a then year-old boy from January to May She was arrested again April 15, accused of having a sexual relationship with a Davidsen student when the boy was She was charged with two counts of having sex with a minor and one count of lewd and lascivious battery. Ragusa and the second teen's relationship started Feb. From then until March 10, three days before Ragusa's first arrest, she and the teen had sex more than 20 times, Carter said.
Ragusa was arrested for the third time April This time, a sheriff's detective spotted her coming out of a student's house and learned they had just had sex again, according to an arrest report. A circuit judge on Wednesday ordered the public release of court documents regarding Ragusa. Ragusa's attorney, Robert Herce, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Ragusa, who is being held without bail in Falkenburg Road Jail, declined to comment Thursday. Researcher Diane Grey contributed to this report. Reporter Sherri Ackerman can be reached at sackerman tampatrib.