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|Sputnik | Jul 4, 2015|
Russian-language social media users have jumped to the defense of Jennifer Fichter, the Florida English teacher who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for sex with three juveniles. And while Runet users have offered a variety of reasons for defending her, everyone seems to be in agreement that the punishment does not fit the crime.
On Thursday, Fichter offered a tearful apology after admitting to having sex with three of her 17-year-old students, before being sentenced to 22 years in prison by a Florida judge. "All I can say is I'm so sorry," the 30-year-old ex-teacher told the court. "I wish I could take it back, and my words are not going to suffice; I know that." But as NBC affiliate WPTV explained, the judge in the case was relentless, slamming Fichter over the fact that some of the sexual relationships may have overlapped. "You're going to have a long time to think about what you did," the judge noted, before passing down the 22 year sentence.
Russian-language social media users responded speedily and sharply against the verdict, with users from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus instantly inviting fellow users to join the 'Freedom Jennifer Fichter' petition at whitehouse.gov, calling the woman 'a saint', and noting that people have gotten off more lightly for committing much more serious crimes.
A common defense emerging among social media users was to compare Fichter's case to that of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik: "[Anders] Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011, received one year less than Jennifer, who made a few sexually mature guys happy," a frequently retweeted and reposted comment noted.