A former Ripon High School English teacher is being accused of allegedly carrying on a sexual relationship with one of her students during the 2016-17 school year.

   Samantha J. Fitzpatrick, 28, of Oshkosh is being charged with child enticement, sexual assault of a student by school staff, exposing a child to harmful materials and obstructing an officer.

   If convicted on all four charges, three of which are felonies, Fitzpatrick could face a maximum penalty of just over 35 years in prison and a $130,000 fine.

   She is expected to appear in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Wednesday morning (tomorrow) for her initial appearance.

   According to the complaint filed, the victim involved would have been 16 at the onset of the alleged relationship, later turning 17.

   Fitzpatrick is not currently employed by the Ripon Area School District. She resigned May 3, 2017, just five weeks before the end of the school year.

   The charges stem from an alleged six-month affair that included sexting and intercourse, all while the victim was a student in her class.

   The situation came to light only after a third party called the police with concerns.

   That led officers to speak with another teacher at Ripon High School who also offered concerns about a potential inappropriate relationship.

   That teacher said she “started noticing Victim A in Fitzpatrick’s classroom a lot. [The teacher] stated that ... when Victim A would be in class Victim A would sit next to Fitzpatrick at her desk and she would be talking to him instead of teaching the class.

   “[The teacher] said that late in October a student came to her and reported that someone told her that Victim A had gone to a party at a hotel in Oshkosh and he had arrived at the party late. Victim A told a student that the reason he arrived to the party late was because he was at Fitzpatrick’s and he just had sex with her.”

   This led the teacher to confront Fitzpatrick, according to the criminal complaint, but that Fitzpatrick denied the allegation.
“... Fitzpatrick laughed it off and stated ‘I could see how they would say this,’” the complaint reads.

   At some point, though, the complaint alleges, the relationship between the victim and Fitzpatrick did turn sexual.“[Ripon Police Capt. Bill] Wallner noted that communications were reviewed between November 2016 through May 2017. Captain Wallner observed sexually graphic messages between Fitzpatrick and Victim A which discussed sexual role playing [and more],” according to the complaint.

   Fitzpatrick, though, denied any relationship occurred when interviewed.

   The victim, when interviewed, also denied any inappropriate contact.

Read the full story, with additional information from the criminal complaint, in the Dec. 7, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.