Teacher accused of having sex with student

Stephanie Am­ato

A former spe­cial-edu­ca­tion teach­er at a May­fair grade school had sex re­peatedly with a 14-year-old stu­dent in March and April, ac­cord­ing to crim­in­al charges filed by the Dis­trict At­tor­ney last week.

Stephanie Am­ato, 30, of the North­east, was charged with in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course, un­law­ful con­tact with a minor and re­lated of­fenses. She sur­rendered to the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment’s Spe­cial Vic­tims Unit on June 4 and was re­leased the next day after post­ing 10 per­cent of $125,000 bail. Her pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing is sched­uled for June 24 in the city’s Ju­ven­ile Court.

Ac­cord­ing to the DA’s of­fice, Am­ato taught eighth grade at Eth­an Al­len School, 6329 Bat­tersby St. Her al­leged vic­tim was a boy stu­dent at the school. Am­ato “en­gaged in ‘con­sen­su­al’ sex with one of her 14-year-old male stu­dents at her home and in her car on mul­tiple oc­ca­sions between March and April of this year,” the DA said in a prin­ted state­ment.

The vic­tim’s fath­er re­portedly learned of the in­cid­ents and re­moved his son from Al­len. Fernando Gal­lard, a School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia spokes­man, told TV sta­tion CB­S3, “It is very dis­turb­ing first of all. And it’s something we take very ser­i­ously. There­fore we work very closely with Phil­adelphia po­lice.”

The dis­trict re­moved Am­ato from the school and sus­pen­ded her without pay pending the out­come of the in­vest­ig­a­tion. She has been a teach­er for six years. School par­ents were no­ti­fied of the case by let­ter on June 4.

Au­thor­it­ies have iden­ti­fied no oth­er stu­dent vic­tims. At the time of Am­ato’s ar­rest, her per­son­al Face­book page showed pho­tos of her driv­ing a car ac­com­pan­ied by sev­er­al young males who ap­peared to be stu­dents, based on mes­sages pos­ted to the pho­tos. Along­side one im­age, Am­ato pos­ted, “Fun with with these kids!” In the photo, four youth pas­sen­gers were flash­ing their middle fin­gers at the cam­era. On an­oth­er sim­il­ar photo, Am­ato pos­ted, “My fav stu­dents!!” Am­ato’s Face­book con­tent is no longer view­able to the pub­lic. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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