TAMPA, Florida (WTSP) -- On the day the victim should have been celebrating his 14th birthday, he spent it telling a judge and jury what he says happened during tutoring sessions with his teacher when he was 12 years old.
The boy, who 10 News is not identifying, said the abuse 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 at the time of the allegations that she took things too far while tutoring him in math at the Riverside home she shared with her husband and kids. The boy 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 racy text messages. Some are so explicit 10 News will not air the content. 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.