Eric says he hid his relationship with Bench-Salorio from his father, Mike, and his stepmother, Allison.
Mike and Allison say they never spoke with Bench-Salorio personally except for a back-to-school night when Eric was in the seventh grade. That same year, Eric's parents say, they mistook Bench-Salorio for one of his friends when she stopped by their house without introducing herself. Instead, Bench-Salorio proceeded to play outside on a trampoline with a group of children Eric's age. "We had thought that the teacher was a little off ... not really suspecting but thinking she was a little unusual with the things that she did," Allison says.
Allison and Mike soon found explicit love notes to Eric and a condom in his backpack. When first confronted, Eric wouldn't speak. Determined to find the author of the love notes—which seemed to have been written by an adult—Mike says he discovered that the handwriting matched up with a message from Bench-Salorio to Eric in his yearbook. Shortly after Mike confronted his son for a second time, Eric broke down, went to his mother's house and told the truth.