School Principal-coach

Former Fruitland High School principal-coach Mike Fitch faces sex-related charges. He resigned earlier this month, the school district announced on April 18.

The woman Fruitland High School principal and boys basketball coach Mike Fitch is accused of committing sexual battery against was employed by the school, and police believe those crimes occurred in the school.

The information comes from an affidavit of probable cause, filed in support of the charges Fitch now faces: two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and one count of patronizing a prostitute, also a misdemeanor.

The woman police say Fitch allegedly victimized — who will not be named by this newspaper — was hired by Fruitland High School in August, according to the affidavit. She later told police “immediately upon starting her position with the school, she noticed Mr. Fitch was attracted to her,” according to the affidavit.

She remembered how, in September, she’d attended a dance with her boyfriend in Ontario, Oregon. Fitch was there with his wife, she said, and she noticed Fitch looked at her “in a way she knew was different,” according to the affidavit.

The week after the dance, according to the affidavit, he began to message her through the school’s Google account. He sent her “‘erotica stories’” and added the characters in the stories were “representative of Mr. Fitch and herself.”

Not long after her hiring, she told police, Fitch messaged her and told her he “had a surprise for her and wanted to meet her at the copier to give her the surprise.” According to the affidavit, she told police he forced her to touch him inappropriately.

After that, she told police, he began “frequenting her office.” He also sent her messages about having sex with her, according to the affidavit.

While she did say she sent Fitch one photograph of herself, he sent her photographs and videos without her consent.

“She advised that after approximately a month, she realized the situation was spiraling out of control and she told Mr. Fitch she could no longer participate in their relationship,” according to the affidavit. “She then stopped communicating with Mr. Fitch.”

But he didn’t stop communicating with her, according to the affidavit. He sent her a video of himself masturbating, she told police, as well as a photograph of his penis. He also sent her videos from a pornographic website, according to the affidavit.

Once, he entered her office and, she believed, tried to force her to perform oral sex on him, but she resisted, she said. She also said he’d touched her inappropriately while she was in her office. He offered to pay her $300 for sex, she said — which is why prosecutors charged him with solicitation — and also told her they could have sex in the school’s band room, according to the affidavit.

The woman also said at least two other school employees had warned her about Fitch and his “reputation,” according to the affidavit.

At the request of the Payette County Prosecutor, the Idaho State Police investigated the allegations, said Tim Marsano, spokesman for the agency. It’s not an uncommon request in smaller jurisdictions. Officers spoke with the woman in November. At the same time, Teresa Fabricius, the superintendent of the Fruitland School District, assumed the role of acting administrator at the school.

“Mr. Fitch has been out of the building since November 16th," she said in an email statement," and he will remain out of the building while this matter is resolved.”

On Friday, a magistrate judge issued a summons for Fitch to appear in court. The date scheduled for that hearing is March 5. He was not arrested.

A call to the Payette County Prosecutor's Office requesting explanation for the summons instead of an arrest was not responded to by print deadline Monday. 

Fitch, a graduate of Skyline High School, has been the principal of Fruitland High School since 2010 and taught for 12 years before that. He also was the school’s boys basketball coach for 19 years.

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