A well-respected high school teacher and basketball coach in northern California is suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl while he was working at a math camp last summer, local police say.
Chad Zitzner, 45, of San Jose, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a $300,000 warrant for lewd and lascivious acts with a child, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Zitzner was once named Substitute Teacher of the Year in the Mountain View Los Altos High School District and has been an educator for more than two decades, according to the newspaper.
Deputy Superintendent Stephen McMahon said Zitzner will not be allowed to teach in the San Jose Unified School District unless he is legally cleared. McMahon added that nothing he knew suggested any district students were potential victims.
“We are really aggressive in protecting the safety of students,” McMahon said. “He was put on leave within minutes of us finding out about the [Sheriff’s Office] investigation.”
Investigators said that Zitzner, who was a teacher at Broadway High School, met the 12-year-old victim while at a private summer math camp called Math Enrichment. It was located in Saratoga, a small town in Santa Clara County that lies about an hour’s drive south of San Francisco. The camp offered no comment on the investigation, according to the Mercury News.
The Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office released a statement that said the victim at the conclusion of the camp told her mother that “Zitzner had touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions while at the camp.”
An investigation ensued by the office’s Sexual Assault Investigation Unit, and Zitzner was placed on leave from his job in October, as soon as the district was informed of the investigation.
Authorities are asking anyone with additional information about Zitzner or the sex crime investigation to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4500.