Lakeland teacher accused of sex with student facing charges in 2 - WFLA News Channel 8

Lakeland teacher accused of sex with student facing charges in 2 counties

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Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29. Jail booking photo Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29. Jail booking photo
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Sex with a student and no regrets; that’s the story of a 29-year-old high school teacher who is spending Tuesday night behind bars.

Jennifer Fichter is charged with six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a 17-year-old student in Polk County.  News Channel 8 also confirmed that she is also facing three "similar charges" in Hillsborough County with the same victim, according to Detective Larry McKinnon.

Nobody answered the door at Fichter's Davenport condo, about a 55 minute drive from her school. A neighbor across the breezeway said Fichter lives with two men.

Tanya Diaz said she is disgusted by the charges.

"This sort of hit you in the gut because we send our kids there to be taught and we send them to trust the teachers. And we trust the teachers. And if we can't trust the teachers, who can you trust?" said Diaz.

After months of hiding behind different names, a parent's intuition and suspicion led the victim's mother to Fichter.

“She came to figure out the teacher had been using a couple aliases,” Lakeland Police Department’s Gary Gross said.

The victim's mother then met face-to-face with Fichter, who said she was in love with the woman's 17-year-old son. The teen is Fichter's English student at Central Florida Aerospace Academy.

“There's no doubt about it she is a classic predator,” Gross said. “She was head over heels in love. I think she's got issues,” he added.

The issues in this case began in November, Fichter told police.

Fichter said she and her student had sex in multiple places in Hillsborough and Polk counties, but mostly in the back seat of her truck in the parking lot at the Preserve Apartments in Lakeland.

She claims the student got her pregnant and together they chose to abort the baby.

It's news that brought disgust and disbelief to parents who put their children under her care every day.

"You think your children are safe at school, but maybe they aren't always," parent Debbi Carter said.

A 29-year-old teacher with a pristine record in Polk’s schools is now behind bars because of the alleged relationship with the 17-year-old victim, who some say is just too young to comprehend what happened.

“They're not mature enough to handle relationships like that, especially with someone of influence like a teacher,” OT Holden said.

Police say there may be other victims out there.

This investigation is still open and they are asking any others to come forward. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are jointly working the case with the Lakeland Police Department.

Jennifer Fichter will have her first appearance before a judge Wednesday afternoon.

Peter Bernard contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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