A history teacher at the all-boys Catholic Servite High School who'd also taught or coached baseball at Irvine's Beckman and Mission Viejo's Capistrano Valley high schools pleaded guilty Wednesday to setting up a fake woman's Facebook profile to trick dozens of teen boys into sending him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.
Zachary Joshua Reeder, a married father, was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Between June 1, 2010, and Jan. 14, 2013, Reeder created and used a Facebook account to pose as a female high school student by using the image of a blond-haired girl. He established inappropriate online relationships with at least 106 underage boys between the ages of 13 and 17 from Servite, Beckman, Northwood, and Canyon High Schools--boys he knew through teaching or coaching, prosecutors said when the Orange resident was arrested last February. Many boys came forward due to the publicity from the arrest.
Without the guilty plea, Reeder was facing up to 44 years in prison if convicted.
Besides the prison time, the 31-year-old must register as a sex offender for life after pleading guilty to four felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor, two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, two felony counts of contacting a child with the intent to commit a lewd act, one felony count each of using a minor for sex acts, lewd act upon a child, possession and control of child pornography, and distribution of child pornography.
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Several victim impact statement letters were submitted to the court, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office.
"May the consequences of Zachary Reeder's betrayal of trust, and abuse of power for his own selfish gratification be a strong deterrent to others who may be contemplating similar abuses of power and be confirmation to other silent victims that justice can prevail giving them courage to stand against their abusers," the mother of one victim told the court.
"My young son was deceived and no match for the manipulation and intent of the accused," said another mother. "He used his adult influences to attract young, vulnerable boys that respected him for his own sexual enjoyment using social media."