California music teacher convicted of handing out flutes contaminated with semen


A former music teacher and founder of an international music program was sentenced this week to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to Distributing semen contaminated flutes to five California schoolgirls in 2017, KNBC reported.

John Zeretzke, 61, from Ventura worked at the Music Center in Los Angeles for 30 years and founded Flutes Across the World in 2009, according to the Orange County Register. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to six counts of obscene acts against children in Orange County Superior Court, the registry reported.

Zeretzke was indicted after the U.S. Postal Service and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department conducted a survey last year, according to a press release from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Authorities opened the investigation after receiving reports of tainted flutes in 2017, KNBC reported.

Prosecutors say that before giving the flutes to the girls, Zeretzke recorded himself contaminating the instruments, according to KNBC. Zeretzke also allegedly tried to get another minor to send him “sexually explicit messages,” the attorney general’s office said.

“There is no place in our society for crimes against children,” Becerra said in the statement. “We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our schools or anywhere in our state. Our students deserve to be able to learn in a safe environment.

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Brooke is originally from the Pacific Northwest and most recently worked for KREM 2 News in Spokane, Washington as a digital and TV producer. She also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Coeur d’Alene Press in Idaho. She is an alumnus of Washington State University, where she received a degree in journalism and media production from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

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