Attorney General Becerra Announces Arrest, Indictment of Music Instructor John Zeretzke of Ventura County for Committing Lewd Acts against Minors

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the indictment of John Zeretzke, a music teacher from Ventura County, for committing lewd acts against five minors. Zeretzke operated Flutes Across the World and taught music lessons in schools and other organizations throughout Southern California. Filed in Orange County Superior Court, the complaint brings six criminal charges against Zeretzke for lewd acts upon children under the age of 14.

“Crimes against children are despicable. Schools must represent a safe environment for our students,” said Attorney General Becerra. “No parent should fear for the safety and security of their child at school. We will work relentlessly to hold people who exploit our children criminally accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Zeretzke’s arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s office in coordination with the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. Attorney General Becerra’s indictment alleges that between January 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017, Zeretzke targeted five victims under the age of 14. The charges against Zeretzke are not based upon allegations that he personally had physical contact with any child.

Zertzke is also facing a five-count indictment from the federal government. The U.S. Attorney’s charges include allegations that Zertzke attempted to entice another victim to send him sexually explicit images. They also allege that he traveled to the Philippines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with other minor victims.

It is important to note that an indictment contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A copy of the indictment can be found here.

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