Support growing for teacher sentenced to 22 years for having sex with students

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, July 09, 2015, 6:59 PM EDT

Jennifer Fichter’s 22-year sentence is garnering a lot of international attention.

The 30-year-old former teacher can now add internationally known felon to that list of things she’s known for.

Groups from all over the world have started petitions are asking for her release or a shorter sentence.

There’s a petition on Change.org with thousands of signatures. Another one on Whitehouse.gov has numbers that are climbing. All of the pages insist Fichter’s 22-year prison sentence is too harsh.

Most of the support is coming from places like Russia. The Moscow Times wrote an article criticizing the sentence.

Nicolai Bashenko is from Switzerland. He started a Facebook page titled Free Jennifer Fichter.

“When I see this story on the Internet I feel this in my heart that someone needs my help and that I can help someone in this world. Because it’s really very strong 22-years of prison,” said Bashenko.

Bashenko said Fichter didn’t murder any one and doesn’t deserve to spend the next two decades behind bars. He said he had a sexual relationship with a teacher while he was in school and he doesn’t understand the sentence.

“It looks crazy,” he said. “Twenty-two years for a young woman? She killed no one. She didn’t murder anyone, she stole no money, she just make what she wants with young boys.”

At her sentencing hearing Fichter admitted what she did was wrong. She slept with three teenage students. She even got pregnant from one student and had an abortion.

Still her supporters say that’s still not serious enough to warrant so much time behind bars.

Fichter has 30 days to appeal the sentence. The 30 year old is still facing charges in Hillsborough County.