A Washington state teacher accused of having sex with a high school student allegedly told the boy to lie to investigators, and to convince his mother to lie for her as well.
Jessica Marie Fuchs, 26, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, tampering with a witness and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
The former science teacher at Bainbridge Island High School in Bainbridge Island, Washington, is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student, who is no longer enrolled at the school. Prosecutors say Fuchs left an electronic trail that included a sexually explicit video and messages, and that she told the boy to "lie like [he'd] never lied before" once police began investigating her.
Fuchs first came under suspicion in late February after the alleged victim's mother discovered Snapchat messages from a contact named "Jess" on her son's phone, according to the Bainbridge Island Review. When she confronted her son, he initially denied there was anything going on. But later he admitted that he'd had sex with his biology teacher at her home, and said Fuchs' husband had once caught them in the act, according to the Seattle news station KOMO.
Jessica Fuchs, pictured in an undated Facebook photo. (KIRO)
The boy's mother contacted school administrators, who immediately called the police.
Cops seized the teacher's devices as part of their investigation, which lasted over two months. On Fuchs' devices, they found "a large amount of evidence," including text messages of a sexual nature and a video of Fuchs masturbating -- titled "ForMyBaby!" -- that she made for the student, according to the Bainbridge Island Review.
Police said Fuchs tried to cover her tracks after she came under investigation.
Once under investigation investigators said she sent this message to the teenager: "Well protect me as best you can. Remember NOTHING COMES OUT EVER! About anything, you have been to my house only once. Lie like you have NEVER lied before and try to get your mom to side with you completely and say this was all a misunderstanding! And tell the investigator that!"
Investigators say that Fuchs used her school laptop to search for "how to permanently delete cell phone records," according to KIRO. Court documents obtained by the station say that Fuchs claimed she'd become pregnant and had used her laptop to research paternity testing.
Bainbridge police arrested Fuchs at her home on Thursday. She was booked at the county jail and held on $100,000 bond. On Monday, a judge reduced her bail to $25,000 after Fuchs' attorney argued that the defendant is not a flight risk and has no previous criminal history.
Ten members of Fuchs' family were present at the hearing. Fuchs' attorney said that her relatives will pool money together for her release. The judge ordered Fuchs not to have contact with the alleged victim if she is released on bail.
Her trial is scheduled for June 29.