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Cedar Lake teacher fired; accused of taking students to strip club

Updated: November 25, 2013 1:21PM



CEDAR LAKE — Hanover School Corp. officials Wednesday terminated a high school teacher accused of taking three teens to a strip club and providing students with alcohol in his home.

Travis Lechien is charged with three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He tried to resign, but school board president Mary Joan Dickson said the board at a special meeting Tuesday refused to accept Lechien’s resignation and instead moved to terminate his teaching contract effective immediately. Lechien has taught at Hanover Central High School for 10 years.

The 31-year-old Crown Point resident is accused of taking three teens to a Hammond strip club to celebrate one student’s 18th birthday.

Lechien is due in court Nov. 19 before Judge Julie Cantrell for an initial hearing on the charges, which also allege he allowed the teens to drink in his Crown Point home. Each count is punishable by up to one year in prison. The charges were filed Oct. 7 after an investigation initiated by the school corporation and completed by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

He had been suspended from his teaching position with pay since Sept. 10.

Witnesses interviewed by police for the probable cause affidavit described Lechien’s home as the “hang-out” house, a place where students often would gather and where Lechien would provide beer and hard liquor, according to an affidavit filed with the court. The teens also had access to a Hookah pipe at Lechien’s home in which they smoked flavored tobacco.

Ten teenage boys, the youngest of which was 17, were identified in court documents as routinely visiting the home.

The current charges surround the 18th birthday celebration for one of the teens.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Lechien and three students went to a Hammond strip club to celebrate the birthday and were later stopped by Lake County Sheriff’s Police on their way back to Lechien’s home. At that time the witness said Lechien told police who they were and what they were doing.

Patti Van Til, Lake County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, said the investigation is ongoing.

A search warrant for the seizure of his computer and related devices was executed Sept. 26 at Lechien’s home in the 200 block of Maple Street in Crown Point.



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