John Zeretzke, director and founder of international non profit, Flutes Across the World charged with committing lewd acts after donating flutes to schoolchildren tainted with body fluids.
The founder of a nonprofit group has been charged with committing lewd acts after giving flutes possibly tainted with body fluids- aka semen – to schoolchildren in California.
John Edward Zeretzke, 60, of Ventura was indicted by an Orange County grand jury last month on charges involving five girls under age 14 in Los Angeles and Orange counties, the state attorney general’s office said in a Thursday release.
Court records show John Zeretzke having pleaded not guilty to the charges, the Orange County Register reported.
Zeretzke was arrested this month and remained jailed Friday, according to the county Sheriff’s department website.
Zeretzke founded an international music program called Flutes Across the World that held programs in schools where thousands of students played or made flutes, which were distributed around the world.
— Christina Corradino (@GHCorradino) September 23, 2015
John Zeretzke: A history of prior exploitation.
In 2017, California authorities began investigating reports that some flutes distributed to schoolchildren in Orange County school districts may have been tainted with semen.
Parents in some districts were urged to put the flutes in paper bags and turn them in to authorities for testing.
The new indictment did not provide many details and the attorney general’s office declined to say whether the charges involved any allegations of tainted flutes.
However, a statement from the office said the charges ‘are not based upon allegations that he personally had physical contact with any child.’
‘Crimes against children are despicable. Schools must represent a safe environment for our students,’ Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in the statement. ‘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.’
The state charges against Zeretzke involve different accusers than a previously-issued federal indictment that alleges child exploitation and receiving child pornography, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors say Zeretzke tried to convince someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him and that he went to the Philippines in 2017 to have sex with a young person.
Zeretzke is scheduled to return to court on May 1.