This article was updated Thursday, March 2, with information from District Attorney Kirk Andrus and a statement released by Siskiyou Union High School District Superintendent Mike Matheson. Andrus clarified that "the sex-related offenses are not strikes or 'serious' felonies as defined in the law," and "they are not eligible for state prison."
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman Tuesday evening, Feb. 28, who is accused of sexually exploiting high school age students in the Mt. Shasta area.
Mary Frances Fletcher, age 42, a south county resident, was arrested and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail. She is charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and knowingly dissuading a witness or victim of a crime.
District Attorney Kirk Andrus clarified that "the sex-related offenses are not strikes or 'serious' felonies as defined in the law," and "they are not eligible for state prison."
Fletcher was booked for the charges with bail set at $10,000 and was released on bail. Andrus said, "Bail is always set according to a schedule created by the judges of the Superior Court. Bail is the same for everybody committing the same offense."
On Thursday, March 2, Siskiyou Union High School Superintendent Mike Matheson released the following statement: "We have become aware that authorities arrested a Siskiyou County woman on Tuesday for unlawful sexual conduct with three different victims and attempting to keep a witness from cooperating with authorities. We take allegations of misconduct against our students and the youth of our communities seriously and remain committed to ensuring that every student in our District is able to learn and thrive in a healthy, safe environment supported by the community. We will continue to follow District policies and procedures designed to protect students during this investigation currently being handled by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney. We are working very closely with law enforcement while they lead the investigation. We understand and appreciate the community’s desire for more information. Out of respect for student privacy rights and the ongoing nature of the investigation, we will respectfully provide any additional information as we find it appropriate. As reported by the sheriff’s office, no school district employees were involved in the alleged misconduct, and school officials promptly notified law enforcement when they became aware of the potential situation."
The Sheriff’s Office says the criminal case against Fletcher was generated from a complaint originally received from the Mount Shasta Police Department in September 2016.
Sheriff’s Office investigators, as stated in the release, “initiated an investigation that alleged Ms. Fletcher had sexual-related contact with three high school students from Mt. Shasta High School. The alleged sexual misconduct involved three minor boys, and the investigation revealed the offenses occurred in unincorporated areas of Siskiyou County within a period encompassing several weeks prior to the initial report by school officials to the MSPD. No school employees were involved in the alleged misconduct and school officials, when they became aware there could be inappropriate misconduct associated with the interactions between the suspect and students, promptly notified law enforcement investigators.”
After the completion of the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said “it was referred to the Siskiyou County District Attorney for review, which resulted in the arrest warrant being issued, which resulted in the prompt execution of the arrest warrant by a SCSO Deputy.”
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey states in the release that the case is still under investigation and urges anyone with information about the offenses to contact the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes’ Unit at their 24-hour Dispatch Center, 530-841-2900.