Former Ventura music teacher who gave children sperm-contaminated flutes gets 15 years in jail in child pornography case


A former teacher who contracted with several schools in Southern California to teach music to children has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, officials reported.

John Edward Zeretzke, 62, of Ventura, was sentenced Thursday to 183 months in federal prison, the U.S. prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Press release.

Zeretzke pleaded guilty in August 2020 to one count of child pornography production after previously pleading guilty in Orange County Superior Court to six counts of committing obscene or lascivious acts with minors under the age of 14 years old.

In July 2020, he was sentenced to 18 years in state prison, which will run concurrently with his federal prison sentence, officials said.

Prosecutors said that between December 2016 and February 2017, Zeretzke communicated online with a girl who lived out of state and forced her to produce child pornography.

“[Zeretzke] attacked impoverished young girls in third world countries and used its Flutes Around the World program as a means to contact and sometimes take advantage of these girls, ”prosecutors wrote in a memorandum on the sentence.

Through the program, state prosecutors said Zeretzke gave sperm-tinted flutes to children who wanted to learn the instrument.

The case against Zeretzke has been investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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