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Ventura man sentenced to more than 15 years on child pornography charges

The former music teacher was sentenced to 183 months in federal prison.
department of justice DOJ
Posted at 1:10 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 16:10:31-04

John Edward Zeretzke, 62, of Ventura, has been sentenced on child pornography charges.

Zeretzke, a former music teacher, was sentenced to 183 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography in Aug. 2020.

Judge Fernando M. Olguin sentenced Zeretzke on Thursday, Aug. 26.

Zeretzke had previously been sentenced to 18 years in state prison for six counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts with minors under the age of 14 years old. The Department of Justice says that the two sentences will run concurrently.

Zeretzke had contracted with several schools to teach music to children, including Circle V Ranch Camp in the Santa Ynez Valley.

He founded "Flutes Around the World," a program that put him in contact with young girls in developing countries. Prosecutors say he used the program as a means to prey on the girls.

From Dec. 2016 to Feb. 2017, Zeretzke communicated with an underage girl over the internet and coerced her into producing child pornography. The victim did not live in California.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigated the case.

The case is part of the Justice Department's Project Safe Childhood initiative.