HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dozens of photos of a Midstate teacher performing sexual acts with a student — that’s what court documents show police found during their investigation.
Police filed the paperwork yesterday in charging 33-year-old Randi Zurenko of Millerstown with sexual abuse of children and sexual assault, among other crimes.
The arrest affidavit details two relationships the Bishop Mcdevitt High School social studies teacher had with students.
“Sexual violence is a widespread problem in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape CEO Delilah Rumburg said.
And make no mistake, she added, this is sexual violence.
“Whether or not it’s consensual, it’s an abuse of power,” she said. “And we absolutely should treat it as seriously as any other type of sexual violence.”
Zurenko is accused of having relationships with two female students, the first starting in 2013 with a student who has since graduated.
Police say the teacher gave the girl alcohol and took her to Fort Hunter park. There, she gave the victim a back massage and unhooked her bra.
The affidavit alleges Zurenko gave her alcohol on several occasions after that.
“The use of alcohol is common because it lowers inhibitions,” Rumburg said, “and it also makes young people more vulnerable.”
The second relationship, with a student who was 16 at the time it began, started last summer, police said, and lasted until last Friday.
Court records show Zurenko faces 232 counts, many stemming from the second victim, including sexual abuse of children and child pornography.
Those charges are the result of police finding photos they say show the teacher and the student performing sexual acts with each other.
In the arrest affidavit, police said Zurenko stored over 111 nude photos of the victim on her cell phone. They said Zurenko admitted she sent at least 20 nude photos of herself to the student and received nude photos the student sent her.
“This is something that affects a community as well as just affecting the particular children that were abused,” deputy district attorney Sean McCormack said.
Police said Zurenko admitted to the charges. Bishop McDevitt suspended the teacher with the investigation continues.
“Pay attention to what’s going on,” Rumburg said, “and listen to those rumors and have those conversations with your children.”
That’s her advice to parents who might be concerned about their own kids. And for all of us, she said, “Prevention is possible and it’s everyone’s responsibility.”
“Everyone in our community has a responsibility to pay attention to what’s going on, intervene or report any suspicions of abuse.”
ABC27 left a phone message for Zurenko Friday. A woman called back from the same number later in the day without identifying herself but hung up before a question was asked.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.