Fatima Grupico was a teacher at a Catholic school in New Jersey, a school that has since had its doors shuttered by the local diocese because declining enrollments had rendered running the high school no longer cost effective.
But according to the charges brought against her on Thursday, Grupico took advantage of at least one member of the shrinking student body when she engaged in sexual relations with a 17-year-old boy at the Cardinal McCarrick High School in South Amboy, New Jersey.
With her arrest this week, the 24-year-old teacher, who was left out of a job when the school closed its doors in June, becomes the latest in a lengthy series of cases all across the United States involving female teachers who take part in inappropriate sexual relations with students — mostly male students, but some cases have involved female teachers and female students.
Last week, 30-year-old Florida high school teacher Jennifer Fichter was sentenced to 22 years in prison for engaging in sexual acts with not one, not two, but three male students, all of whom were age 17. One of the illicit relationships even resulted in Fichter becoming pregnant.
In May, Irene Isabel Khan, 31, of West Melbourne, Florida, pleaded guilty to conducting a month-long series of sexual encounters with a 14-year-old boy who was a student in one of her classes. According to details of the case, the boy had jokingly written his phone number on the classroom blackboard asking girls in his class to call him for dates. Instead, he got a call from his married teacher.
Last October, 37-year-old Michelle Smith White was accused of becoming so attached to a 15-year-old female student that she got a tattoo of the girl’s face and brought her home for three-way sex sessions with her husband.
The details of the Fatima Grupico case have not yet been made public, but the Linden, New Jersey, woman is accused of sexual contact with the student on multiple occasions on the school property between May 4 and May 30 of this year.
Prosecutors did not say whether the teen was actually a student in one of Grupico’s classes. Police began investigating her when the relationship came to the attention of officials at the school, who then called in law enforcement.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said the investigation into the activities of Fatima Grupico is not yet complete, but the now-unemployed teacher is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and sexual assault. She is being held without bail in Middlesex County Jail.
[Images: Pinterest, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office]