Hanover Central teacher Travis Lechien was fired, after allegations arose that he gave students alcohol at his home, and took some of them to a strip club. He now faces misdemeanor charges. Kim Vatis reports.
A northwest Indiana teacher who allegedly took some students to a strip club and gave them alcoholic beverages at his home was terminated Tuesday night, district officials said.
"We take this seriously," Supt. Tom Taylor said of the investigation surrounding Travis Lechien.
Lechien, of Crown Point, faces up to one year in prison on three Class A misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges were filed Oct. 7, records show.
The 31-year-old had been suspended without pay from his job as a chemistry teacher at Hanover Central High School since Sept. 10. He was a teacher at the school for 10 years, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
Court documents said Lechien allowed the students to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages at his home and took some of them to a strip club in Hammond to celebrate a student's birthday.
An affidavit states Lechien and the students were pulled over on their way home from the strip club after Lechien, who was driving at the time, was speeding, according to public information officer Patti Van Til with the Lake County Sheriff's Department.
The affidavit also states several students, some 18 and others younger, said they often "hung out" at Lechien's house and sometimes drank beer and hard liquor as well as used flavored tobacco from a hookah the students said belonged to the teacher.
Defense attorney Richard Wolter said he hadn't reviewed the case enough to comment but that Lechien intended to plead not guilty.
Taylor said the incident "puts a stain" on all teachers.