Trial for a former traveling music teacher and Ventura resident accused of child exploitation crimes has been postponed until early next year.
John Zeretzke, 60, will appear for a trial on Jan. 7 before Judge Fernando M. Olguin in the U.S. District Court for California’s Central District, a federal trial court in downtown Los Angeles.
Mr. Zeretzke was scheduled to appear for a settlement conference before Judge Olguin on Oct. 10, but the hearing was vacated, Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Rhoades said.
According to court records, prosecution and defense must submit their pretrial motions by Nov. 29. Their responses are due Dec. 6.
Mr. Zeretzke is set to appear for a pretrial conference before Judge Olguin on Dec. 20.
On Aug. 28, 2018, Mr. Zeretzke was indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of child sexual abuse. The charges include production and receipt of child pornography, use of a facility of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
Charging documents allege Mr. Zeretzke coerced a female minor to produce child pornography and attempted to entice another victim to send him sexually explicit images. He is accused of traveling to the Philippines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minor victims.
He allegedly used Facebook to ask victims for sexually explicit pictures and allegedly sent explicit material of himself to the victims.
Federal prosecutors say the conversations took place from November 2015 to February 2017. None of the victims are from Southern California.
If convicted of the federal charges Mr. Zeretzke faces 15 years to life in prison.
Mr. Zeretzke is being held in Orange County Jail on $600,000 bail, according to jail records.
In a separate criminal case in state court, Mr. Zeretzke is accused of lewd acts on children. Charging documents don’t specify the acts.
In 2009, Mr. Zeretzke founded Flutes Across The World, a charitable organization that taught students to make flutes out of PVC piping. Students at his workshops would make two flutes, one to take home and one that would be donated to a child in another country.
In 2017 the U.S. Postal Service investigated allegations some of those flutes were tainted with semen.