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Civil Lawsuit And Criminal Charges: Former Teacher Accused Of Inappropriate Relationship With Student At Private School In Central Florida


According to reporting published by CBS News Miami, a former teacher at a private school in Central Florida is facing a civil lawsuit over an alleged relationship with a former student. The student was a minor at the time of the alleged sexual relationship. Click Orlando confirmed that their teacher, Harriet Sugg, was arrested and charged with sexual activity with a minor. Below, our Central Florida sex offense defense lawyer describes the allegations raised against the teacher and the school.

Civil Lawsuit: Teacher, School Concealed Sexual Misconduct 

Harriet Sugg was employed as a teacher by The First Academy—a privately owned and operated Christian school in Orlando, Florida. According to allegations raised in a civil lawsuit, Ms. Sugg had an inappropriate and unlawful sexual relationship with a female student. That female student was a minor at the time of the incident—16/17 years of age. The matter was reportedly known by the school, which eventually became concerned about the relationship. Ms. Sugg was eventually terminated by the school. However,  the matter was never reported. Both Ms. Sugg and the school have been named in a civil lawsuit filed by the victim. 

Former Teacher Arrested and Charged With Felony Offense 

The former teacher of The First Academy in Orlando is also facing felony criminal charges. Recently, Harriet Sugg was arrested and charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor. She was taken into custody in Orange County on October 11th, 2023. She faces several criminal charges, including a charge for sexual activity with a minor by a school authority. 

An Overview of the Criminal Charge: Sexual Activity With a Minor By a School Authority 

In Florida, the criminal charge of sexual activity with a minor by a school authority is a grave matter, governed by strict laws and severe penalties. This offense involves an adult who holds a position of power or authority in a school engaging in sexual conduct with a student under the age of 18. The definition of “school authority” is designed to be broad—it encompasses a wide range of roles within the system, including teachers, administrators, coaches, and other staff members.

Notably, in Florida, the crime of sexual activity with a minor by a school authority is a felony offense. Any person convicted of this offense could face severe criminal penalties, including significant state prison time and mandatory registration as a sex offender. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that any person arrested for a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Get Help From Our Orlando, FL Sexual Crimes Defense Attorney Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando, FL sex offense defense lawyer is a strong advocate for justice. Every person deserves a right to raise a defense. We are solutions-focused advocates for clients. Facing a sex crimes charge? Our legal team is here as a resource. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online to set up your fully private initial case review. From our Orlando legal office, we handle sexual assault charges and other sex-related offenses around Central Florida.


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