A Wisconsin high school teacher pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male student of hers. Despite initially refusing to admit culpability, the evidence had begun to stack up against 29-year-old Samantha Fitzpatrick, with police finding sexually graphic exchanges between her and her victim that indicated the pair had engaged in sexual activity for at least six months.
According to the Daily Mail, Fitzpatrick, formerly an English teacher at the Ripon High School, accepted a plea deal in court this past Tuesday. Her charge of sexual assault could mean she faces the possibility of spending the next six years behind bars depending on how the sentencing goes.
The 29-year-old was arrested in December 2017, with the authorities having received a tip hinting that Fitzpatrick was having an "inappropriate relationship" with one of her students. She had suspiciously and abruptly resigned from her post just before the summer break as well.
As law enforcement investigated the reports, another teacher at the school said she had heard from a different student that the 17-year-old victim had been telling other peers that he'd been having sex with Fitzpatrick at her home.
A student corroborated that story and informed police that the victim had described how he had "done stuff" with the English teacher at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Ripon. Another teacher said she had noticed flirtatious behavior between the two and that the teen could often be seen in the 29-year-old's classroom sitting next to her desk.
The teacher added that Fitzpatrick would pay special attention to the victim and tune out the other students in her class, stating that when she went to confront her on her behavior, she laughed it off and said, "I could see how they would say this."
When police finally confronted the pair, both denied engaging in sexual encounters with one another initially. The teen confessed Fitzpatrick often gave him car rides but that he never had a sexual relationship with her and that his tales of having sex with her were just jokes.
But their stories wouldn't hold up to scrutiny. Detectives soon uncovered racy and "sexually graphic" Facebook messages they had exchanged with one another that included details of role-playing, as well as sex acts they wanted to perform on each other.
The messages, which were sent in a span of six months between November and May 2017, also included the English teacher confessing her love for the student, and asking the victim to send her revealing photos.
A search of phone records then revealed that the victim had made 67 phone calls to Fitzpatrick; this despite the 29-year-old deleting the student's number from her phone.
While Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to sexual assault, the plea deal she accepted saw charges of child enticement, exposing a child to harmful materials, and obstructing an officer were dropped.