Skip to comments.Ex-teacher sentenced for having sex with girl
Posted on 05/19/2005 12:12:06 AM PDT by kingattax
A former North Myrtle Beach High School teacher who had a sexual relationship with a student for about a year declared his love for the girl Tuesday just before he was sentenced to six years in prison for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Stephen George Zeltman told the court: "She's an angel. My actions hurt my angel."
The girl, who is not being identified because she was 14 when the pair began their relationship in March 2002, now is 18. Zeltman is 50.
"They had a consensual relationship," Assistant 15th Circuit Solicitor Karen Hanebrink said. "They considered themselves boyfriend and girlfriend."
Hanebrink said Zeltman bought a car for the girl when she was 15.
She now knows the relationship was wrong because of the differences in their ages and knows Zeltman needs to go to prison, Hanebrink said, but she doesn't think it should be for long.
Zeltman faced up to 20 years in prison. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty before Circuit Judge Edward Cottingham for a lesser sentence. It was about seven months after he initially was scheduled for trial. Zeltman fled to Indonesia to avoid prosecution.
While there, he survived a tsunami in December but in February was tracked down by U.S. marshals in Bali. Zeltman ran because he was worried about being held in maximum security, Barbara Pratt, his attorney, said during his plea hearing.
"This is a very serious matter," Cottingham said. "To keep the family and the victim from reliving all this in a trial, I agreed to the guilty plea."
He said Zeltman will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
Hanebrink said she hoped for a stiffer sentence but considers the six-year sentence fair.
The girl's father, who also is not being identified to avoid identifying her, told the court that he thought his daughter was confused when she was 14.
"[Zeltman] came to us as a family friend and promised he was helping to look out for our daughter," the girl's father said. "He had all the parents and teachers fooled."
Prosecutors said Zeltman and the girl had sex regularly, including on school property. At least one student once caught the two involved in a sex act, Hanebrink said.
The allegations of sexual misconduct against Zeltman left students at North Myrtle Beach High "shocked and disappointed," the school's principal said earlier this year.
Zeltman was a drama teacher at North Myrtle Beach High for two years before his arrest. Before that, he worked at South Columbus High School in the Columbus County, N.C., School District.
His relationship with his victim began with flirting, Hanebrink said.
As the relationship progressed, the girl would stay late after drama events to be with Zeltman. After it became sexual, they had sex anywhere they could, she said.
At one point in the relationship, the girl became bothered when she learned Zeltman had represented himself to be about 10 years younger than he is, but she accepted it, Hanebrink said.
They were planning to marry and had picked names for children they planned to have, she said.
Zeltman bought the girl a Chrysler PT Cruiser, which she sometimes drove with him, Hanebrink said.
She never took the car home but instead parked it near her house then walked home, Hanebrick said.
It's unclear what happened to the car, but Hanebrink said it was in Zeltman's name and payments likely stopped when he fled the country. Contact KENNETH A. GAILLIARD at 626-0312 or email@example.com.
At least he owned up to his errors.
I could almost understand it if the guy was twenty-something and fresh out of college. 46? He's a knucklehead.
Question: Is it possible that a lawyer can ever recognize just what a freakin sleaze their client is?!?!??
--> All i wanted from my teachers were good grades, i didn't even get that.
"To keep the family and the victim reliving all this in a trial, I agreed to the guilty plea."
Everyone! Please!, a round of applause for Mr. Sugar Daddy! I mean, what a sport. He was thinking about the family and his "angel"; the victim. Now, of course they had to track the fugitive down in Bali, but hey. I'm sure he was thinking about them the entire time he was on the run.
The fact is that this pervert probably couldn't find any woman who would wish to spend time with him. He has the mentality of a boy struggling through puberty(Peter Pan Syndrome), and his ulterior motives for teaching drama are quite evident.
Bought a car for a girl who wasn't even old enough to drive?! Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Wow, this guy is a character actor. He acts like quite a character; Casanove wannabe, criminal, drama teacher, scum bag, and pervert. Multi-talented.
I'm sure when he gets out, Hollywood will embrace him with open arms. They deserve him.
She had a consensual relationship? At 14?? With a 46-50 year old. Hello!??? Is anyone out there? What's wrong with this country's judges?
Hollywood will make an oscar winning movie about him. I'm sure they already have a "generic" movie script ready for him to sign.
Very good post!
Flees to Indonesia, only to be chased by a tsunami... get a clue, perv.
Read the article, dude! The judge said that, not the perp.
"How about Man and little girl? "
Did you ever notice that their is a difference between a four year old and a fourteen year old girl? What percent of the other fourteen year old girls at that school are regularly having sex? Quite a few, I would wager.
could you please try to be a little more ridiculous ?
You have led a sheltered life.
whats the problem ? things too slow over in DUmmieville ?
That's what pedophiles say.
The article didn't say how or when the affair was reported. If you do the math, the girl was almost 15, March-May 2002 birthday. It also made him about 46 years old. I'm sure there are plenty of 46 year old, going on 20, that have been fallen prey to some fine looking teenage girls.
could you please try to be a little more ridiculous ?>>>>
Don't be too critical, I thought he was already doing a fine job of it ( : < )