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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.

KTLA/screenshot
KTLA/screenshot

RELATED: A teacher accused of having sex with a female student at a school for troubled youth is out of job


The victim’s mother joined KTLA for an interview but did not wish to be identified.

KTLA/screenshot
KTLA/screenshot

“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.

RELATED: Engaged Texas teacher throws away the future for sex on a park bench with a minor, police say

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.

KTLA/screenshot
KTLA/screenshot

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.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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