DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. —
A Pennsylvania teacher has been sentenced to prison time for sexually assaulting two female students.
According to WPMT, Randi Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, had sexual relations with two female students while teaching at Bishop McDevitt High School, a private Catholic school in Harrisburg. One of the relationships lasted from January 2013 to October 2016, while the other relationship began in early 2015 and also ended in October 2016, WPMT reported.
Zurenko – who faced numerous charges, including institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and possession of child pornography – was sentenced Thursday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the Dauphin County Prison, WPMT reported.
The 2 1/2-hour hearing brought heartfelt testimonies from the parents of the victims and the victims themselves. According to PennLive, one of the victims said Zurenko “slowly shattered every belief I held.” A father of one of the students said, “You deserve no grace, no chance at rehabilitation. You deserve no success.”
The former teacher, a mother of five, asked for leniency in light of her young children. In his sentencing, the judge declared, “Your conduct can only be described as incomprehensible. … You became a villain.”
Investigators said Zurenko gave the victims alcohol, and one of the victims said in court that the situation threw her into a depression and that she even contemplated suicide, PennLive reported.
Zurenko’s lawyer said the former teacher is “a good woman who was truly in love with her victims.” He claimed she “is not somebody who took advantage of somebody else. She had real feelings for this person.” He also asked that the judge consider house arrest.
After serving her sentence, Zurenko will spend four years on probation and will have to complete 500 hours of community service.