New charges for a teacher arrested for having sex with her students in Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeland Police Department is trying to identify other victims of a teacher accused of having sex with one of her students.

Police arrested Jennifer Fichter for an on-going sexual relationship with a student at the school where she taught English.

In addition to the six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, she faces three more counts in Hillsborough County with the same victim.

Police said Fichter preyed on the 17-year-old student at Central Florida Aerospace Academy. She met the student in November and the relationship turned sexual in January.

Tampa psychologist Laura Umfer said some might think 17 is old enough to make your own choices, but maybe not when a teacher is involved.

"At the end of the day, whether he feels he was abused or not, subconsciously he was manipulated, used and abused by this older woman who had power over him,” she said.

She recommends the victim get counseling.

"That is going to affect his relationships. Without treatment, intervention, he is not going to have healthy relationships,” Umfer said. “He is not going to have healthy sexual relationships. He won't know what is normal and what isn't."

Police said Fichter had sex with the teen 20 to 30 times this year. It happened in parking lots around Polk and Hillsborough counties in her truck, which is still parked in front of her apartment.

Parents from the school were outraged.

"They're not mature enough to handle relationships like that especially with somebody that's an influence on their life like a teacher,” one parent said.

Detectives say Fichter admitted the sexual relationship and professed that she and her victim are in love. Umfer believes Fichter is misguided.

"At the end of the day you are manipulating and abusing a child,” she said.

The school superintendent said Fichter is on paid leave. He will recommend that the school board fire her in their next meeting Tuesday.
 

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