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Home  »  Sex Crimes   »   Local Music Teacher in Semen-Tainted Flute Case Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

Local Music Teacher in Semen-Tainted Flute Case Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

Local Music Teacher in Semen-Tainted Flute Case Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

Jul 4, 2020

Local music teacher John Edward Zeretzke, 61, from Ventura has agreed to plead guilty to one federal charge of production of child pornography and six state counts of lewd or lascivious acts with minors under 14 years of age. The guilty plea comes after pleading not guilty in April 2019 to state charges accusing Zeretzke of recording himself ejaculating into flutes that were then given to five girls at elementary schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. State attorneys accused Zeretzke of then taking photographs of the girls using the tainted instruments. Court documents indicate the alleged violations involving the flutes occurred between January and April 2017.

Zeretzke is the founder of Flutes Across the World, a nonprofit organization that teaches students how to make their own flutes. He has agreed to plead guilty to accusations involving sex crimes with minors dating back to 2015.

The federal indictment accuses Zeretzke of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, allegedly sending a 15-year-old girl he met on Facebook over 40 explicit photos of himself. On November 7, 2015, court documents indicate the victim told Zeretzke in a Facebook chat she planned to lose her virginity on her upcoming 16th birthday. The indictment alleges Zeretzke then sent a response indicating “he had always wanted to have sex with a virgin and wished he could be that person” for her.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that in August 2017 Zeretzke traveled to the Philippines to engage in sex with an individual who was 12 to 16 years old, and received child pornography through his Facebook account.

For more than 30 years Zeretzke reportedly taught thousands of children throughout California. He was also a teaching artist for the Music Center of Los Angeles.

Since its founding in 2009, the Flutes Across the World organization has worked with thousands of children throughout the country, including several school districts in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Children taking part in the program would reportedly create pairs of decorated flutes — one flute would be kept by the child participating in the program, while the other would be given to a child in a foreign country. In 2017 the Los Angeles Times reported, “officials warned parents in seven California school districts of the potential contamination of flutes received by their children.”

Flutes Across the World also led music missions to numerous countries including Haiti, the Philippines, and Honduras. The Mercury News reported the organization sent “flute ambassadors” to Nepal, Africa, and parts of Southeast Asia.

As part of the plea deal, the Central District of California agreed to dismiss all but one of the federal counts against Zeretzke. However, those dismissed charges may still be considered upon sentencing.

If you would like to report an incident of sexual assault involving a child, please contact our SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) today. With the passage of California’s Child Victims Act — also known as AB 218 — the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children is removed until January 1, 2023. In effect, this means sexual predators have nowhere to hide, and survivors of child sexual abuse are finally able to obtain justice and receive a financial settlement for damages, regardless of when the crime occurred.

Contact us to arrange a free consultation, or call 800-880-7777 to speak with a member of our team directly.

 

 

 

 

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