A Beaumont High School teacher pleaded guilty Friday to having sex with one of her male students and was immediately sentenced to four years probation.
Samantha Lee Ciotta, 32, of Banning, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of unlawful intercourse with a minor, while a count of oral copulation of a child was dismissed. Her probation terms include a protective order prohibiting all contact with the student for the next 10 years.
Ciotta, an English teacher at Beaumont High, was arrested last September, three months after her relationship with the student, then 16, came to light. She was released on a $150,000 bond the following day and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of her case.
According to an arrest warrant declaration, a relative of the teen texted the boy to ask if swirling rumors about him and Ciotta were true. The relative received replies that appeared to be suspicious, and they were later determined to have been sent by Ciotta’s husband, according to the court document.
It was unclear how Ciotta’s husband obtained the victim’s phone, but he admitted sending the messages to the victim’s relative because he suspected his wife was having an affair with the student and wanted to find out more, according to the document.
The boy told police he had sex with Ciotta on numerous occasions, but could not remember the exact number of times because he was usually intoxicated during their meetings, according to the declaration.
He initially covered for her but later decided to stop lying when Ciotta had sex with his 19-year-old friend, the declaration alleges.
The mother of two previously held a teaching position at La Quinta High School and was recently hired by the Beaumont Unified School District.
The guilty plea follows a lawsuit filed by the victim last week against the Beaumont Unified School District, alleging that while the sexual abuse was occurring, his guardian and at least one other teacher reported their concerns to school administrators, but nothing was done.
The boy’s attorneys contend that “school administrators were aware of numerous red flags showing that the relationship between Ms. Ciotta and our client was becoming inappropriate.”