Students Suspected Arizona Teacher Was ‘Dating’ Teen


Weeks before an Arizona sixth-grade teacher was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in her class, students at the school allegedly told the principal that they believed she was “dating” the student.

Police allege that Brittany Zamora, 27, had an ongoing relationship with her student at Las Brisas Academy in Goodyear. The abuse allegedly came to the attention of authorities after the parents found explicit texts — including naked photos — on their son’s phone.

After confronting their son, the parents subsequently told the school principal, who then contacted police.

But new documents raise the possibility that other students were aware of the alleged relationship. The Arizona Republic obtained handwritten notes from the Liberty Elementary School District under the Arizona Public Records Law. In the notes, the school principal writes that he had spoken with several students who suspected that Zamora was “dating” the victim.

 

“Everyone talks about them having an inappropriate relationship outside of class and at recess,” one student allegedly told Principal Tim Dickey.

Brittany Zamora

Brittany Zamora

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Another student allegedly complained that Zamora treated the student favorably in class. While other students received detentions, Zamora allegedly gave the victim warnings and let him “off the hook” for infractions.

The notes were taken six weeks before Zamora was arrested.

“We did investigate,” Richard Rundhaug, the school district’s interim superintendent, alleged to USA Today. “We determined there were some elements of favoritism, and we gave the teacher some very specific direction on not allowing that favoritism to continue, and then we monitored to make sure those directions were followed.”

Rundhaug told USA Today that school officials were unable to find proof that Zamora was “dating” or “in a relationship” with a student.

But now authorities say Zamora did more than show favoritism to the student.

According to court records obtained by PEOPLE, Zamora allegedly sent several sexually-charged texts to the victim. In one exchange, the boy allegedly texted her, saying that he wanted to have sex with her. “I know baby!” she allegedly responded. “I want you every day with no time limit.”

In another exchange, she allegedly texted him that “If I could quit my job and [have sex with] you all day long, I would,” the court records show.

Authorities also claim that Zamora sent the boy naked photos and at least one picture of herself in lingerie.

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Zamora was arrested last month and has been charged with two counts of molestation of a child, one count of furnishing harmful material and nine counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

During her initial court appearance, Zamora asked the judge to be lenient with bond. According to a video of the appearance obtained by PEOPLE, she told the judge she “would love to go home to my husband.”

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has been released from jail on $250,000 bond. An attorney for Zamora did not return PEOPLE’s call for comment. A civil attorney for the alleged victim also did not respond to requests for comment.



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