jail cells
Example of jail cells, not ones in the story. Photo via Pixabay

A former music teacher who contracted with a number of school districts in Southern California was sentenced Thursday to more than 15 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.

John Zeretzke, 62, of Ventura, pleaded guilty in August 2020 in Los Angeles to one federal count of production of child pornography.

He previously pleaded guilty in Orange County Superior Court to six state counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts with minors under the age of 14 years old. He was sentenced in July 2020 in the state court case to 18 years in state prison, a sentence that will run concurrently with his federal prison sentence of 15 years and three months.

From December 2016 to February 2017, Zeretzke used a computer and the Internet to communicate with a female minor and coerced her into producing child pornography. The victim did not live in California at the time.

Zeretzke “preyed on young, impoverished girls in Third World countries and used his Flutes Around the World program as a means to contact and sometimes take advantage of those girls,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

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