PHOENIX — A former teacher in suburban Phoenix learned her fate Friday, July 12 after molesting one of her 13-year-old students. As part of a plea agreement, the judge sentenced Brittany Zamora to 20 years behind bars — as emotions ran high in the courtroom.
Not only was Zamora sentenced to prison for 20 years, she was also facing lifetime probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
One parent testified that her 11-year-old son was in the classroom, on the lookout, while Zamora molested the 13-year-old boy at Las Brisas Academy.
“Instead of teaching subjects like math and English, she showed him pictures, and asked him about his private parts. She tried to groom my child into believing that this behavior was OK,” the 11-year-old boy’s mother said.
Zamora’s attorney provided a statement, saying the 13-year-old boy was not necessarily a boy, but a teenager who was aggressive.
“Brittany Zamora implored Principal Dickie to move him, because the teenager had boundary issues, and was obsessed with Brittany. I am not making that up. I learned that from Principal Dickie,” said Belen Olmedo Guerra, defense attorney.
At one point, the defense blamed prosecutors and the media for making Zamora out to be a monster.
“She is not a monster. Brittany is not a predator, and this was not between a young child and Brittany. This was a teenager,” said Belen Olmedo Guerra.
The court heard statement after statement from the parents of the 13-year-old about how their son would have lasting issues as a result of the abuse. The other of the 11-year-old who would stand to witness her sexual encounters left Zamora with this:
“Let this sink into your head, Brittany. Your mind is foul. Your heart is ugly, and you disgust me. You should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourself. You deserve to leave prison at a time when you can no longer bear children of your own,” the mother of the 11-year-old said.
As part of the plea agreement, 12 other criminal charges were dismissed, and Zamora avoided the maximum penalty of 40 years behind bars.