10 News Extra: Debra LaFave on the web

4:44 PM, Sep 21, 2005   |    comments
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By:Bill McGinty
Tampa, Florida - We went to Google, and typed in the words Debra LaFave. In less than 2 seconds, we had thousands of websites and articles about Debra LaFave.

There are also 126 hits with images, some of pictures from high school, some from modeling shoots. Debra LaFave, has captivated a world wide audience, admittedly most of them are men, but not all.

Bill McGinty, 10 News Reporter: "This is from a female in Milwaukee Wisconsin, she writes you go girl!"

On the "Free Debra" website, which is based in Hungary, we found tee-shirts for sale, small medium and large for 14.99, plus shipping. John Fitzgibbons is Lafave's lawyer.

John Fitzgibbons, LaFave's lawyer: "We don't pay that much attention to them, we don't know them by name, but we are familiar with them because we have to be. Has she seen them? Yea, Debbie has seen them and she knows about them and she has looked at some of them yes. What is her reaction to them? Well, the case is so overwhelming to this young woman, ya know, a short while ago she was just a young school teacher with no notoriety and now her face is splashed literally throughout the world. It's almost hard to comprehend."

And in that 109 thousand hits we found the Debra LaFave Fansite, a whole site dedicated to Debra's news, her photos, there is even a petition to "Save Debra" which 211 people from around the world have signed.

Bill McGinty: "Here's a 25 year old guy from Cleveland that says let Debra go, she's awesome." "This is from a 26 year old male in Amsterdam who writes, since the whole affair was totally consensual, I can't see what crime she committed." "A male from NY writes, she will rot in hell, it's called rape." "Here's a comment from a 15 year old boy in Rome, he says, I'm happy for the boy. She hasn't killed anybody!"

Some of the websites have adult industry advertisers with explicit graphics. Fitzgibbons says it's precisely the reason he's going to court on Tuesday.

John Fitzgibbons: "The pictures we're complaining about are so graphic there is just no doubt they would spread like wildfire if they were made public on the internet. This is your concern? Absolutely, it would be a horrific violation of Debbie's privacy for these to be published anyplace."

If the photos are released, you can bank on that 109 thousand hits...probably doubling.

Bill McGinty, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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