A music teacher accused of possibly giving Southern California children semen-tainted flutes was charged for committing lewd acts against children.
John Zeretzke, 60, allegedly committed the lewd acts against five children under 14 between Jan. 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017, according to a Thursday announcement by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
“The charges against Zeretzke are not based upon allegations that he personally had physical contact with any child,” the statement said.
Zeretzke founded the music program Flutes Across the World in 2009, where children could decorate two flutes. The children got to keep one of the flutes while the other was given to kids in various countries, The Orange County Registrar reported.
California officials began investigating reports that some flutes given to school children were contaminated with semen in 2017, according to The Associated Press. Parents were encouraged to hand over the flutes in paper bags to authorities for testing.
Man at center of tainted flute investigation in Southern California is charged with committing lewd acts https://t.co/rssVWXTGAn
— Mercury News (@mercnews) April 19, 2019
“It’s upsetting and kind of disgusting,” parent Maria Vieyra said, The Registrar reported.
It is unclear whether the indictment is related to the semen-tainted flutes. (RELATED: Utah Mom Facing Charges After Allegedly Giving Teens Lap Dances At Birthday Party)
“Crimes against children are despicable,” Becerra said, according to the statement. “Schools must represent a safe environment for our students.”
The indictment was originally filed with the Orange County Superior Court in March.
Zeretzke also faces federal charges for allegedly trying to convince another victim to send him sexual pictures and traveling to the Philippines to have sex with other minors, the statement said.
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