OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - The high school teacher who was arrested for allegedly having a romantic relationship with a student faced new charges in court on Friday.
John Teti, a former computer and business tech teacher at Northeast High School in Oakland Park, had three additional charges added to his case.
7News cameras captured the 41-year-old as he sat in a downtown Fort Lauderdale courtroom and witnessed an uncomfortable exchange between a prosecutor and Broward Circuit Judge Barbara A. McCarthy.
The prosecutors read text messages Teti allegedly sent to a 16-year-old student.
“‘I’m an older male asking for time with you, an underage girl,'” said the prosecutor as she read one of the alleged texts.
His wife attended Friday’s court hearing. She sat expressionless as the prosecutor read the alleged texts.
“‘My wife has really good life insurance. We’ll just have to ditch the kid,'” said the prosecutor as she read one of the messages.
Teti is now being charged with four counts of authority figure criminal solicitation, a charge that is new to the judicial system of Florida.
Teti’s attorney, Lawrence Wolk, said he will be the first case of this kind to be tried in the Sunshine State.
Authorities said Teti would let the 16-year-old student skip class in his classroom and would use a vape pen to get high with the teen.
Investigators said the teacher sent the girl sexually charged texts, usually late at night.
One text read, “I could always come over to tutor you,” followed by an emoji with a finger pointing to an open circle, which is used in text messages to indicate sex.
Another of his texts read, “If my wife were to suddenly die, would you be my teenage bride?”
The text exchanges went on for four months, authorities said.
“‘Good morning, beautiful. I don’t want to dip out on you, but my wife is giving me the eye for texting so unusually much,'” said the prosecutor as she read one of the texts. “‘I don’t know how to quite relay the truth that I’m chatting with a 16-year-old student, just because I legitimately really enjoy talking to her.'”
Teti’s wife declined to comment on her husband’s charges.
“Turn that (expletive) off,” she said as she walked away from a 7News crew.
In court, she said she has no problems having him around her 4-year-old son.
Teti’s wife, who is three months pregnant, pleaded with the judge to lower her husband’s bond, saying she has to sell her car and she has a baby on the way.
The judge lowered the original bond amount, but with the new charges Teti faces his bond returned to the original $50,000 amount.
Teti was arrested by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies on Jan. 31 after he allegedly solicited a romantic relationship with a 16-year-old student.
After several months, the victim and her family members reached out to him asking him to stop his advances.
At his initial bond hearing, during the prosecutor’s statement, Teti was seen on camera rolling his eyes.
But Wolk said there is no call for his client’s bond to remain so high.
“No nude [pictures] or audio or video, naked pictures of any type. He basically had a friendship with this girl,” said Wolk.
Teti remains at the Broward County Jail.
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