A married mother was called a villain in court Thursday morning for sexually abusing two of her female students.
Dauphin County President Judge Richard A. Lewis sentenced former Bishop McDevitt High School teacher Randi Zurenko to 11.5 to 23 months in prison followed by four years of probation. According to PennLive, Lewis told Zurenko, 33, that she must have a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality.
The former teacher pleaded guilty to institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, possessing child pornography and disseminating obscene materials to minors.
"I am ashamed to be here," Zurenko told Lewis. "I have never coerced anyone. I have never taken advantage of anyone."
Zurenko’s lawyer, Lee Cohen, claimed she was truly in love with her victims. One of her victims told the court that Zurenko’s behavior slowly shattered every belief she held.
"I felt so confused and abandoned and trapped," the victim said. "I trusted nobody...You took everything that was mine."
She said that Zurenko manipulated her and that she became depressed and suicidal because of the situation.
"You will always be a molester, a predator," the victim’s father told Zurenko. "You deserve no grace, no chance at rehabilitation. You deserve no success."
The DA's office said Zurenko and her first victim had a sexual encounter in a park before the student graduated in 2013. She also gave her alcohol. According to PennLive. Zurenko began sexually abusing a second student in 2015, and did so until late last year. According to Fox43, she admitted to also taking nude photographs of the second victim.
"Instead of serving as a role model, ma'am, you became a villain," Lewis told Zurenko.
[Dauphin County District Attorney's Office]
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