New Haven teacher on leave after alleged relationship with 15-year-old student

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NEW HAVEN -- A New Haven teacher is on leave after being arrested for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a student.

During a high school basketball game at New Haven's Wilbur Cross High School, on January 5, a couple of school security officers, retrieving tables from a classroom, came upon a 15-year-old male student and his 44-year-old drama teacher, Jennifer Frechette, who were on a makeshift bed, with condoms nearby. She was charged with sexual assault.

"When you victimize somebody around that age they may think they are capable of handling it, but they really aren't, in terms of their maturity," said Tara Knight, the lawyer for the alleged victim.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the teacher told the security guards nothing happened. But, one of the guards told cops Frechette said "I don't know what I was thinking. He sweet talked me."

Frechette is on paid administrative leave, but the head of New Haven schools is recommending she be fired.

"To me, I think it's about really getting our families more I think involved with the school and not just through you know PTA meetings," said Kai Perry, an educator in New Haven.

The affidavit also states the teacher told the school guards "I'm going to lose my job."

"I think it's disgusting and I think it's horrible," said Deborah Marino, a mother of two teenage sons, from Orange.

"To think that you can't send your children to school and know that they're not going to be violated by a teacher is just a horrendous feeling as a parent," Marino said.

Frechette and her attorney would not allow police to search her phone, but the parents the alleged victim consented to a search of his phone, which revealed text messages between the two about having sex and the fact that Frechette was no longer attracted to her husband.

Knight says evidence show that the relationship was not spontaneous.