Burlington band teacher accused of sexually assaulting a child

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BURLINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Burlington band teacher is facing criminal charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a child.

Zachary Wendt, 38, faces the following charges:

  • Sexual intercourse with a child (2 counts)
  • Sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children (2 counts)
  • Possession of child pornography (3 counts)
  • Cause a child to expose intimate parts

A criminal complaint says in February of 2021, Wendt asked a 16-year-old girl out on a date, believing she was 20 years old. The complaint says the girl declined and informed him of her real age. 

Prosecutors say the two continued to text each other, and a month later, Wendt contacted the victim, picked her up and brought her to his home where he provided her alcohol. The criminal complaint says Wendt had sex with the victim after she became intoxicated.

Investigators say this happened again in May or June.

In November, police say Wendt asked the victim to send him sexually explicit photos. He allegedly told the victim not to say anything to anyone.

Wendt is an employee of the Wheatland J1 School District. The district says the alleged situation occurred off district property and did not include any students. Wendt has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. 

In a statement, the district said in part, "As a school district, our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students. We will continue to do everything we can to make that happen."

Wendt is currently held at the Racine County Jail on $500,000 cash bond. 

He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing next Thursday, Dec. 16.

The Burlington Police Department is asking potential victims related to this case to reach out to Detective Sergeant Robert Jones at 262-342-1100.

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