Police: Peru middle school teacher had sex with 16-year-old girl, exchanged lewd Snapchat messages

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Mason Zimmer

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UPDATE (June 24, 2019) — Mason Zimmer pleaded guilty to child seduction. He was sentenced to 3 years, including 1 year in the Department of Correction and 2 years suspended to probation. He will have to register as a sex offender.

PERU, Ind. – Police arrested a Peru teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.

Mason Zimmer, 28, faces a child seduction charge. The inappropriate conduct came to light when a third party told the girl’s mother about it Sunday night, according to the Peru Police Department. Zimmer works as a middle school teacher but had previously been employed at the high school.

Police said Zimmer met a 16-year-old girl on Snapchat and exchanged explicit messages with her. That led to sexual encounters, police said. Detectives arrived at the school Tuesday morning to take Zimmer to police headquarters; investigators said he confessed.

“He confirmed the allegations against him, that there was an inappropriate contact via social media and Snapchat in particular and that there also was a sexual relationship between them,” said Peru Police Chief Michael Meeks.

Investigators wouldn’t say how many times Zimmer and the student had been physical. Peru Community Schools suspended him with pay.

In a statement after the arrest, the school district said it was working with local police as they investigate the matter:

Peru Community Schools is aware of allegations against a staff member and has taken the appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of all involved. The staff member in question has been suspended with pay and placed upon administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

The staff member in question will not be allowed to interact with staff/student (s), be allowed on school property, attend any Peru Community Schools event (s) or program (s). Peru Community Schools is working and fully cooperating with the Peru Police Department in this matter.

After being suspended without pay, Zimmer submitted his resignation on Sept. 7. The school board accepted his resignation on Sept. 17.

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