Virginia Beach, Va. - The 16-year-old boy at the center of a sex scandal with a former Virginia Beach Schools employee is speaking out only to NewsChannel 3 investigator Jessica Larche.
"It's overwhelming," the boy said Tuesday with his mother at his side. "This has not physically hurt me, but mentally it's hurt me a lot."
The boy said he decided to speak out after judges in Norfolk and Virginia Beach did not sentence Perez to actual jail time for the indecent liberties charges.
He was 15 when a 23-year-old Patience Perez first approached him at Renaissance Academy last march. Perez was an assistant security guard at the time.
"She saw me in the middle of the hallway and gave me her number and her email," he said. "Like any other teenager, you would think that you're the man. You got this older female that's giving you her contact information."
"Initially it was supposed to like the thing where, we just like, have sex and then like that's it. But then it turned into something much more. It turned into a relationship," he said.
During their month-long affair, the married mother would routinely bring him to her home in Norfolk after school, or he would sneak out of his Virginia Beach home when his mother was asleep.
"We were drinking, you know, smoking," he said, confirming what Perez has admitted to in court documents.
The boy said her husband was rarely home because of duties as a sailor, and he said she claimed her husband was abusive and even joked about wanting him dead.
Their affair ended when his mother caught Perez at the boy's home and reported it to police. More than a year and several court appearances later, a Norfolk judge gave Perez suspended jail time, and a Virginia Beach judge deferred sentencing for a year.
"If it was a dude, if it was an older man and a younger female about my age, that dude would be locked up for rest of his life," the boy said.
"This has basically like ruined me," said the boy.
He and his mother have started a petition demanding Virginia judges give harsher sentences for crimes like this. He hopes that will encourage others in his shoes to come forward.
"Don't be afraid to let everything out," he said. "I'm going through it and I'm finding the strength to speak up."