A former Lower Moreland High School math teacher has admitted to having an inappropriate relationship, which included one incident of sexual intercourse, with a 17-year-old male student at the school.
Erica Ginnetti, 34, of the 3400 block of Ashville Street, Philadelphia, entered an open guilty plea Monday to felony charges of institutional sexual assault and disseminating explicit sexual materials to a minor.
Montgomery County Judge Garrett D. Page postponed sentencing until the adult probation office provides him with a report on the married mother’s background, the suitability for house arrest and until she undergoes a sex offender evaluation.
Ginnetti, free on $50,000 unsecured bail, could face a maximum of seven to 14 years behind bars.
Assistant District Attorney Sophia Polites said she will “definitely” seek jail time for Ginnetti at her sentencing hearing.
“She was put in a position of trust by the school and by parents and she violated that trust,” said Polites. “She used her position of authority to prey on someone in her care.”
On Jan. 15, Lower Moreland police received a report from “Child Line” concerning a possible sexual relationship between Ginnetti and a male student, then a senior at the high school, according to the criminal complaint.
The report was made by an adult who said she had heard several students talking about the relationship and about inappropriate pictures and videos sent by the teacher, the complaint said.
During the initial investigation, police learned the names of both Ginnetti and the student involved in the relationship, the complaint said.
Authorities interviewed the 17-year-old, who told them his relationship with Ginnetti began in May 2013 when he was a junior attending a school prom where she was chaperoning, the complaint said.
The teen said Ginnetti asked if he would like to work out at her gym and told him to text her, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, several days later the teen sent an email to Ginnetti, asking for her phone number. The pair then began communicating on a daily basis.
In some of those electronic exchanges, the teen alleged, Ginnetti sent him photos of herself in a bikini, a thong and a video of herself undressing and performing a sex act, according to the complaint.
The teen told police in July 2013 he agreed to meet Ginnetti at a coffee shop in Philadelphia. He got into her car and, after driving around for about a half hour, drove to an industrial area where they had sex in her car, the complaint said.
In the complaint, authorities said the teen told them when she drove him back to his car, she said: “This stays between you and me.”
Police next contacted Ginnetti, who told them she had the teen in a study hall during which she helped him with his math and the two became friends, according to the complaint.
They began electronically communicating with one another and eventually had sex with one another once that summer, the complaint reported Ginnetti telling police. Ginnetti also admitted sending the teen photos and a video of herself, according to the complaint.