Former SoCal music teacher sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison in child porn case

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A former music teacher in Southern California who contracted with several schools was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for producing child pornography, officials said.

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

He worked with thousands of children as part of a program he founded called "Flutes Across the World." His federal prison term will be tacked onto another 18-year-sentence.

Zeretzke 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.

In that case, he was accused of giving flutes tainted with bodily fluids to elementary school students in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

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.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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