A teacher’s aide in New Jersey has been arrested for having sex with her 14-year-old student. Mother-of-one Liz Perez, 31, was arrested on Friday and charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The two allegedly had sex over winter break at her residence, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. She was a per diem teacher’s aid at Dr. William H Horton, a public K-8 school in Newark. The minor involved attended the school, according to NBC.
According to her social media, she appears to be a mother to an elementary school-aged son. During winter break, when the sexual assault allegedly occurred, Perez shared posts about love on Facebook. On Christmas Eve she posted ‘Imaging being loved the way you love’ then on December 30th she posted ‘The word for the day …LOVE’. She’s scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing on February 11. A predisposition conference is set for March 4. An investigation is being led by the Essex prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit.
In December 2018, former New Smyrna Beach Middle School teacher Stephanie Peterson was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, followed by two years of community control, for having sex with a 14-year-old student. The 27-year-old Peterson must also serve five years’ sex offender probation following community control, which is house arrest, and must register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. Peterson turned with a grief-stricken face toward her family while she was being fingerprinted. As she was led away with her hands cuffed behind her back, she turned to look toward her family and friends as her mother was bent over in her seat weeping. Others in the group also cried or dabbed at their eyes.
Peterson took the stand earlier at her sentencing and read quickly from a statement. “I wish I could make it clear how regretful I am for what has occurred. If I could say one thing to the victim, it would have to be that I’m sorry, two words used too often without much meaning but I can honestly say with everything in my heart that I mean it to its truest definition.” Peterson, who by reading from a statement meant she was not subject to questioning by prosecutors, said she hopes to atone by doing good and helping others the rest of her life. She said, “It’s all a huge misfortune what has happened. And I hope I’ll be able to make things right by staying on medication and attending regular therapy.” She said she knows her actions are unforgivable.