Teacher accused of harassing teen - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Teacher accused of harassing teen


A third grade teacher is in hot water accused of sending dozens of harassing messages to a teenager using a popular website.

The mother told Middletown police that she did it because she felt her daughter had been disrespected by her ex-boyfriend. 

Stephanie DeFrance, who is a teacher at Totoket Valley Elementary School in North Branford, turned herself in to the Middletown Police Department on Monday. She was charged with second-degree harassment.

Police said DeFrance is accused of harassing a 15-year-old girl on the social media site Ask.fm.

According to an affidavit, DeFrance became enraged after her daughter's boyfriend dumped her and started going out with another teen. DeFrance said she believed the ex-boyfriend was using her daughter for sex.

DeFrance allegedly started sending explicit anonymous messages to the new teen girlfriend. According to police, DeFrance used the Ask.fm to send over 65 messages over a three-month period.

One of the messages refers to the victim as "body count," meaning that she is just another girl that (the ex-boyfriend) is sexually active with.

"The continued harassment was causing her daughter to become depressed....(the victim) was having trouble getting out of bed and missed school as a result," the victim's mother told investigators.

When the victim asked her about who was sending the messages on Ask.fm, DeFrance allegedly blamed another woman. According to police, DeFrance eventually confessed to the harassment.

When she was at Middletown Police Headquarters, DeFrance allegedly told police she realized what she did was a bad idea and is now getting professional help.

Eyewitness News did reach out to the school district for comment. They told Eyewitness News they wouldn't comment, but did confirm they are looking into the allegations.

On Wednesday afternoon, Eyewitness News went to her home to get her side of the story, but no one answered the door.

DeFrance, was released on a $2,500 bond and is expected to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on May 29.

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