(GOODYEAR, Arizona) — Before her arrest for the alleged sexual abuse of her 13-year-old student, sixth-grade teacher Brittany Zamora was confronted in a recorded phone call by that student’s father.
“You are a ——- monster. You are a pedophile,” the father said in the call. “You are a child molester, do you understand me?”
Not long after that recorded call, the student’s parents met with police and Zamora, a teacher at Las Brisas Academy Elementary School in Goodyear, Arizona, was taken into custody while officers’ body cameras recorded the arrest.
The 27-year-old was pulled over and put in handcuffs. She was charged with sexual abuse after allegedly carrying on that secret relationship.
Dreading the media attention, Zamora asked if an officer could pull her hair in front of her face and the officer assured her she’d “be fine.”
“Do we have to stop by them or can we just pass them?” Zamora asked the officer.
The case made local headlines back in March 2018, but didn’t gain national attention until almost a year later when the videos and documents about the alleged abuse went public.
Zamora’s arrest highlights an explosive reality of abuse: the U.S. Department of Education estimates that 4.5 million students experience sexual misconduct at the hands of a school employee sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade.
Officials said Zamora began illicit communications with the 13-year-old boy, a student in her class, by using a school messaging app.
“She said to text her so she wouldn’t be bored and I said ‘Hi Mrs. Zamora’ and she texted back ‘Hi’ and then we just like starting texting,” the alleged victim said in an interview with police.
The student said innocent messages quickly turned to flirting, by text and in person.
“Yeah, we would flirt a lot… we would like be out a recess and I would talk to her and we would flirt at recess and our principal said we couldn’t do that,” he told police. “That we couldn’t talk at recess no more because other kids were getting like jealous that I was talking to her.”
The alleged victim said Zamora told him she wanted to perform oral sex on him and that his “stuff” was “really big.”
“I would tell her the same,” he told police. “But like I would just say ‘yeah’ stuff like that. Or I’d be like ‘I can’t wait.'”
Eventually, investigators said their relationship did get physical. The alleged victim told police it started when Zamora grabbed his shirt, pulled him in for a hug and kissed him inside her classroom.
“The first time we kissed, I was saying goodbye to her and I gave her a hug and she just started kissing me, so I kissed her back,” he told police.
Officials say the sexually explicit texts continued. The alleged victim said Zamora sent him photos of herself naked and wearing lingerie. The two called each other “baby.”
He told police he sent naked pictures of himself back to the teacher.
“Sometimes I would ask and sometimes I wouldn’t and she would be like ‘Do you want a picture?’ and I would say ‘Yeah,'” he said. “They would just be of her stuff, or like one time she sent me like a full-body picture of her in like this outfit like you can have anything right here or like by her stuff.”
He said things escalated to sexual touching during class while other students watched videos.
Then, he said, one night the two were texting while the victim and his siblings were sleeping over at their grandparents’ house.
“She was all like ‘Let me come over so I can show you how much I love you’ and I was like ‘No my little brother’s here’ and then she was like ‘OK’ and then she put the sad face and I was like ‘I gotta go,'” he told police. “But she was all like ‘Where is you grandparent’s house?’ and I was like ‘In Tullison’ and she was like ‘Send me the address’ because her husband was fishing.”
He said he sneaked out and met her in her car where they kissed and she performed oral sex on him.
The alleged victim said it stopped when Zamora’s husband texted and she left. He said it happened again the next night, only that time it ended with intercourse.
He told police it was her idea and that “She was just telling me to relax.”
They had sex again, at least two more times, in the classroom, police said. On one occasion, another student acted as a lookout.
“They were just doing it. It was very uncomfortable,” the second student told police. “So that’s why the second day they were doing stuff, I just left the room.”
That student said the alleged victim confided in him that the victim and Zamora were sexually involved. The student even said the alleged victim showed him cell phone messages and begged him to keep it secret.
“They’re texting dirty stuff, like on Instagram,” the student told police.
Authorities say those messages are ultimately what alerted the alleged victim’s parents. The parents used an app called “Sentry,” which monitors keywords on their kid’s cell phone. According to police, the app repeatedly flagged the use of the word “baby” and the parents confronted their son.
“He [my dad] was like ‘Who have you been texting?’ and then he showed me the text messages and he said ‘You have one chance to tell me don’t lie to me’ and I told him,” the victim said during his interview with police. “And that’s when … he called my principal and he called the cops.”
The alleged victim’s parents also spoke to Zamora herself in that recorded call.
“Can you explain to me, can we meet to talk about this? There’s nothing we can settle you know outside?” she asked the alleged victim’s dad.
“Oh yeah that’s what we can do so I can give you a chance to do it to some other kid, yeah that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” the alleged victim’s father said to her. “No, Ms. Zamora. Do me a favor. Do not call me back again. Do you understand me? Make sure you tell your husband what’s going on.”
Zamora then put her husband David Zamora on the phone to talk to the alleged victim’s dad.
“She had another 13-year-old in there watching the whole —-ing thing. She’s a monster, do you understand that. Do you understand that?” the alleged victim’s dad said to him.
The next day, police recorded a meeting between the alleged victim’s parents, school officials and law enforcement.
“My husband just told him ‘Have you done anything with your teacher? Have you had sex with your teacher?’ And he said ‘Yes,'” the alleged victim’s mother said in that meeting.
“His childhood’s already —-ing gone. He’s 13,” the alleged victim’s father added.
Police arrested Zamora last March on charges that included eight counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, two counts of child molestation and one count of transmitting obscene material. She pleaded not guilty.
They raided her home and her classroom. In her classroom, police said they found what appeared to be saved notes from the victim, many written on brightly colored post-it notes in childish handwriting that said things like, “UR so sexy” and torn scraps of notebook paper that said, “You just look really cute RN [right now].”
Zamora’s former colleague from a previous school where she worked told “Inside Edition” that she was not surprised to hear about the allegations.
“She was very friendly and very hands-on with the boys from the sports that she coached. They would kind of hang on her shoulder, hang on her back, put their arm around her,” Christine Alvarez said. “And when we said it was not appropriate…she would just kind of go with the flow. And kind of welcomed the advances.”
For now, Brittany Zamora remains in Maricopa County Jail on a $250,000 bond. She surrendered her state teaching certificate in December.
Requests for comment from Zamora or her attorney were not returned.
An attorney for the victim declined requests for comment, but the boy’s father spoke to reporters outside of a Tempe law firm in March 2018, and said, “There truly are real monsters in the world… As parents, you teach your kids that there’s no such thing as monsters. At all. There’s none. But in the real world, there are monsters. And Brittany Zamora is a monster.”
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