Former music teacher and founder of flutes around the world sentenced to jail for obscene acts against schoolgirls – NBC Los Angeles
Disclaimer: This article includes graphic details that some readers may find disturbing.
The founder of an international music program, accused of giving flutes contaminated with semen to students at a California elementary school, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison on Wednesday, the attorney general’s office said. of State.
John Zeretzke, 61, of Ventura was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court after pleading guilty to six counts of committing obscene acts against five girls under the age of 14.
For more than 30 years, Zeretzke was a teaching artist for the Music Center in Los Angeles, during which time he shared music lessons with students from schools in Southern California.
In 2009, he founded Flutes Across the World, through which he contracted with schools to help children make and decorate PVC flutes. The association also participated in mission trips to share music lessons in countries such as Haiti, Honduras and the Philippines.
Prosecutors alleged that in 2017, Zeretzke recorded himself ejaculating on flutes which were then distributed to five girls at elementary schools in Southern California. He is then accused of having taken pictures of the girls using the flutes.
That year, California authorities began investigating reports of tainted flutes. Parents in some districts have been asked to put the flutes in paper bags and hand them over to the authorities for testing.
However, by the time the flutes were collected and tested, no trace of semen was found, prosecutors said at the trial.
“There is no place in our society for crimes against children,” California Attorney General Becerra said. “We will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our schools or anywhere in our state.”
Zeretzke still faces five federal charges that do not involve children in Southern California. The East Bay Times reported that he had agreed to plead guilty to one federal count of producing child pornography, with the remaining charges to be dropped.
Zeretzke was due to plead guilty in U.S. District Court on October 20.