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A press conference will be held today, September 16, 1:00pm at the Lakeland Police Department, 3rd floor, room 3a. At this time we will discuss the arrest of Michael Emmanuel Taveras, 28 years old, a Southwest Middle School teacher employed by the Polk County School Board. Taveras was arrested late last night for Sexual Battery (3 counts) of a student 14 years of age from Southwest Middle School.

 

***UPDATE***

 

The parents of the victim reported the sexual battery to the Lakeland Police Department on September 13, 2014. The victim had confided in a counselor that she had sex with a school teacher at Southwest Middle School in Lakeland. The victim is no longer a student at Southwest Middle School and reported the incident first occurred on June 6 when she was completed community service hours at the school. The victim stated that while in one of the classrooms, the defendant approached her from the rear and sexually battered her. The victim knew the defendant as he was previously her teacher.

 

On August 11, the victim reported that she was again at the school obtaining community service hours and working under the direction of the defendant. The victim was in a media classroom when she was approached by the defendant at which time he pulled out his penis and motioned for her to perform oral sex. The defendant then slid her shorts off and sexually battered the victim.

 

On September 15, detectives interviewed the victim and obtained additional details. On more than one occasion, the defendant brought a 50ml mini Jack Daniels bottle of alcohol to the school for the victim. He also had given her gifts such as socks, electronic cigarettes, lingerie and a t-shirt. The defendant and the victim also used a social network site called Kik to communicate.

 

An arrest warrant was obtained for Michael Emmanuel Taveras and he was arrested yesterday evening at 11:45 pm at his residence in Winter Haven. Taveras is currently being held on no bond. Detectives recovered items of evidentiary value from Taveras residence that corroborated the victims statement along with four computers.

 


 

On April 14, the Lakeland Police Department received information from the victim’s mother that her son was engaged in sexual activity with his English teacher who is employed at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, 4141 Medulla Road, Lakeland, Florida. The English teacher has been identified as Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29 years of age. It was discovered that the victim, 17 years of age and Fichter had been texting each other with Fichter using two different alias’ and later meeting in the early morning hours for sex in the parking lot of the Reserve Apartments, 4920 State Road 33, Lakeland. The sexual encounters occurred in Fichters vehicle.

 

The victim’s mother discovered this relationship after reviewing text messages from her son and she asked that Fichter respond to her residence to talk. According to the victim’s mother, Fichter admitted to the sexual encounters and professed her love for him.

The victim admitted to his involvement with detectives saying that they met for sex a total of 3 times at the Reserve Apartments and 3 times at another location off of New Tampa Highway within the city limits. In addition, the victim admitted to sex numerous times outside the cities jurisdiction and within the jurisdiction of Polk and Hillsborough County. These incidents are currently under investigation by both agencies who assisted in the investigation.

Jennifer Christine Fichter was arrested at her residence at 11:40 p.m., and later transported to the Polk County Jail. Fichter has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity With A Minor (6 counts).