A performing arts teacher at a high school in Riverside, Calif., who was married as recently as August 2016, has been arrested after allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female student that lasted for a “few months” came to light.
Camryn Zelinger, 32, was arrested at her place of employment Monday at Encore High School after a mother saw lewd text messages on her daughter’s phone and reported Zelinger to the police.
The victim’s mother joined KTLA for an interview but did not wish to be identified.
“I’m a nosy mother. And I grabbed her phone. And I looked at texts from this teacher, sexting my baby over the phone, over the texts – just all this stuff,” she said.
“She wouldn’t tell me, she was too afraid. She kept saying, ‘Nothing, mom, nothing, mom.’ But I knew something was wrong,” she continued. “When I finally found out something was going on, when she told me her teacher was molesting her — first period, eighth period, all throughout the day […].”
“I would like parents to know, pay attention to your children when they say something is going on or with their emotions, with their actions,” she said in tears. “If they come and tell you, ‘My teacher touched me this way or this way,’ don’t brush it off, listen to them.”
Police say the victim is 14 or 15 years old and that the relationship consisted of inappropriate touching and communication.
Parents who knew Zelinger, or so they thought, could not believe the news.
“The way she is and the way she interacts with the children, you would never suspect. You would never think she would do something like that,” Tiffany Florez said.
But other parents told KTLA Zelinger would “send requests to other teachers to have them remove the female student out of class so the two of them could spend time together.”
Zelinger has been fired.
She was arrested on suspicion of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and annoying or molesting a child under 18 years of age.