Randi Zurenko, 34, begged a Pennsylvania judge to go easy on her and he did, sentencing her to only 23 months in prison, Less than 16 months with good behavior after she was found guilty of having sex with two of her students hundreds of times. She was charged with over 200 charges of sex with underage children as she carried on two affairs with the girls over an extended period of time.
Police said Zurenko sexually abused her two victims, aged 16 and 17, hundreds of times between 2013 and 2016.
She pleaded guilty to multiple charges of institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, possessing child pornography and disseminating obscene materials to minors.
Her lawyer, Lee Cohen, had asked for Judge Richard A. Lewis on Thursday to sentence Zurenko to house arrest for her young children and claimed she was ‘truly in love with her victims,’ Penn Live reports.
‘I am ashamed to be here,’ Zurenko told the judge. ‘I have never coerced anyone. I have never taken advantage of anyone.
‘I’m asking you today for grace and mercy and to take my children into consideration when you determine my sentence.’
he judge said he considered Zurenko’s own children, but also noted the pain the two victims had endured.
He described Zurenko as having a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality.
One victim told the court Zurenko had manipulated her psychologically for years. Police said Zurenko once massaged the girl and undid her bra. She also repeatedly gave her alcohol.
‘You stunted my growth because I depended on you,’ the girl said in court.
‘I felt so confused and abandoned and trapped. I trusted nobody… You took everything that was mine.
‘I’m still feeling the impact. I don’t think it’s close to over. You took my innocence. You used my love.’
Following her arrest, Dauphin County’s District Attorney’s Office said Zurenko abused one of the girls from January of 2013 to October of 2016. The girl, who has since graduated from the school, was underage at all times.
Zurenko allegedly went on to abuse the second girl from 2015 to 2016, taking photographs of her half-nude and of them together while they had sex.
She sent her nude ‘selfies’ and also admitted to taking photographs of the student on her phone.
They are alleged to have sex in a number of different locations including Zurenko’s home. Their last encounter was just four days before her arrest.