Yesterday, a female Polk County teacher was arrested for allegedly having sex with her 17 year old student. The teacher, Jennifer Fichter, is an English teacher at Central Florida Aerospace Academy.
The arrest allegedly stemmed from text messages the teen’s mother found on her son’s phone. The mother then allegedly asked the teacher to come to her home to talk about the relationship. The teacher then allegedly admitted to having numerous sexual encounters in different locations in Lakeland. Sexual battery charges are very serious and can result in a person being a sexual predator or sexual offender. Usually, the police will conduct “controlled phone calls” in these cases which will become a key piece of evidence in the sex prosecution. In Florida, it is a felony to tape record a conversation with another person without their knowledge. However, one of the exceptions to this rule is if the phone call is recorded at the direction of the police to conduct an ongoing investigation. The Probable Cause Affidavit states the teacher allegedly made statements admitting the sexual affair during one of these “controlled phone calls”. However, I have seen numerous cases where the police allege a suspect admitted to a crime, but when you listen to the tape, this is absolutely not the case and poetic license is taken when interpreting what is actually said on the tape. The defense attorney is entitled to a copy of the tape to see exactly what was said during the recorded call.
The teen allegedly told police that sexual acts occurred in Hillsborough County as well as Polk County. If that is true, additional charges can be brought in Hillsborough County also. In ever criminal case, the prosecution has to prove the “venue” of the crime. That means, the prosecutor has to prove the crime was committed in the prosecutor’s jurisdiction. So, each act is a separate crime and each county’s prosecutor can bring sexual battery charges if the crime allegedly happened in their county.
Fichter was booked into the Polk County Jail on six (6) counts of “Unlawful sexual activity with a minor” in violation of Florida Statute 794.05 which states “A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree… “sexual activity” means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.” A 2nd degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in Florida state prison for each count (each sex act).
If you have been arrested for rape, sexual battery, unlawful sex with a minor, or any other sex crime,call an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court.
Thomas C. Grajek – 863-688-4606