A 42-year-old mother was released on bail shortly after being arrested on multiple counts of statutory rape involving three high school football players.
The small town of Mount Shasta, California, was shook up when the investigation began in September 2016.
With a population of only 3,600, according to the Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce, word traveled fast that Mary Frances Fletcher, also known as Debbie, was under investigation after meeting the Mount Shasta High School football team and, later, allegedly sleeping with three of the players in unincorporated parts of Siskiyou County. The relations are said to have happened over a period of several weeks.
What began as a team photography session that Fletcher attended resulted in suspicion of illegal sexual relationships over the course of many weeks and is now shining a spotlight on the small town — with several news agencies following the investigation.
Fletcher, a dental hygienist, according to the Daily Mail, was arrested after a months-long investigation by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.
News 10, which followed the investigation closely, reported that the Sheriff’s Office had indicated an arrest would be made “in a few days” at the beginning of December 2016. The office ultimately said there was no rush because Fletcher was not a danger to the community.
On Feb. 28, Fletcher was arrested on four counts of statutory rape — two counts for two victims, and two counts for one other victim — as well as one count of dissuading a witness or victim. She reportedly tried to “silence” at least one of the victims, the Daily Mail reported.
Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said the case was “unusual” for him and he hadn’t seen anything quite like it in his 39 years of law enforcement.
“It’s very alarming, it’s something that’s very shocking to the senses and it certainly disturbs the entire community,” Lopey said of the case, according to the New York Post.
Multiple news agencies reported that shortly after her arrest, Fletcher posted bail of $10,000 and hired an attorney.
Age of consent in the state of California is 18 years old, according to the website ,Age of Consent. The ages of the victims have not be released, nor have the details of the specific acts committed. These details would ultimately decide whether Fletcher is responsible for a misdemeanor or a felony.
Fletcher’s court date is set for March 22.
Sources: New York Post, Age of Consent, Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce, KTVL (2), Daily Mail / Photo credit: Facebook via Daily Mail