The alleged sexual relationship between a Bainbridge High teacher and a 16-year-old student at Bainbridge High was discovered after the victim’s mother looked at the teenager’s phone and saw Snapchat conversations with a person named “Jess” and the boy later admitted to doing “more than hugging and kissing” with the teacher.
Bainbridge police arrested Jessica M. Fuchs, 26, Thursday on sexual assault charges after results from the Washington State Patrol crime lab found “a large amount of evidence” on Fuchs’ computer that included text messages of a sexual nature and a video of Fuchs masturbating that she made for the student.
According to court documents, police also found that Fuchs had used her school laptop to search the Internet on Feb. 24 — the day the allegations of inappropriate contact between the teacher and the student were shared with an associate principal at BHS — on “how to permanently delete cell phone records.”
Fuchs was arrested at her Bainbridge home late Thursday, May 7 and was charged later that day in Kitsap County Superior Court with two felonies — first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, and tampering with a witness — and the gross misdemeanor of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
Court records detail an extended sexual relationship between Fuchs and the 16-year-old, who was a student in her 10th-grade biology class.
The WSP crime lab conducted a forensic examination of Fuchs’ computer, which was seized after Bainbridge police obtained a search warrant, searched her home, and took evidence.
According to the WSP investigative report, the State Patrol “was able to recover text messages between the suspect and the victim.”
“These messages begin benign but quickly increase in sexual nature … As the police investigation begins, I found several texts about destroying the evidence of their relationship,” the WSP detective wrote in the report.
The forensic evidence also found emails, iMessages, videos and voicemails between Fuchs and the student.
“The communication was sexual in nature and detailed sexual activity between Jessica Fuchs and the juvenile student victim. There was discussion regarding hugging, kissing, making out, having oral sex, and sexual intercourse,” according to the statement of probable cause in the case.
Police also discovered a video of Fuchs where she was naked and masturbating. The video was created at 4:15 a.m. Feb. 21 and was titled “ForMyBaby!”, according to court records.
Court records said Fuchs messaged the teenager shortly after the video was sent and said it would be in his email. They later talked about the video, court records indicate.
Authorities also allege that around Feb. 23, Fuchs began to talk about deleting all of the records so they would not be caught. She allegedly told the victim that she had deleted all of her messages and asked him to do the same.
It was also on Feb. 23 that school officials became aware of the relationship.
An associate principal at Bainbridge High spoke with Fuchs at 3 p.m. that day, and Fuchs “made several comments that were concerning” to the administrator. Fuchs told the associate principal that she had conversations with the student via text and knew his home address.
Court records also indicate the associate principal then met with the victim’s mother the next day, on Feb. 24, and the mother said she was suspicious that her son was involved with the teacher “in an inappropriate manner.”
The next day, Feb. 25, Fuchs was told by school and district officials she was being placed on administrative leave after she got to school in the morning. The school administrator called 911 just after 10 a.m. and reported a possible sexual offense.
But earlier that day, shortly after 7 a.m., Fuchs wrote to the victim: “Well, protect me as best you can. Remember NOTHING COMES OUT EVER! About anything you have been to my house only once. Like 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!”
Bainbridge Police Officer Aimee LaClaire met with the victim’s parents and they gave police the teen’s cell phone, iPad and laptop and also gave consent for the items to be searched.
LaClaire interviewed the student two days later, and he denied that anything sexual had happened between himself and his teacher, but did admit to hugging her.
The boy also told police that the Snapchats his mother had seen were actually from a friend, but police later talked to the other teen and found he had not sent a Snapchat to the victim since the summer of 2014.
Eleven days after the allegations first surfaced at BHS, the victim’s mother called police and said her son had admitted having a sexual relationship with Fuchs.
The son allegedly told his mother that he was at his teacher’s home on Saturday, Feb. 21, and Fuchs was performing oral sex on the teenager when her husband walked in.
The victim also denied having intercourse with his teacher but did say she was pregnant. Records recovered from Fuchs’ school computer showed she had done an internet search for “Paternity Tests” on Friday, Feb. 13.
The State Patrol examination of Fuchs’ computer shows that much of the communication between the teacher between Jan. 15 and Feb. 25 was deleted, but was able to be retrieved forensically.
Records indicate much of the Bainbridge police investigation was completed by early March. Bainbridge police were contacted by an attorney representing Fuchs who said “she will not be talking to you.”
Police also tried to interview her husband, but he would not talk.
Fuchs was arrested Thursday for first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, tampering with physical evidence and tampering with a witness.
Bainbridge police asked that bail be set at $200,000, but it was set at $100,000 instead.