PHOENIX (AP) — A former suburban Phoenix elementary school teacher avoided the maximum sentence Friday for sexually abusing a 13-year-old student, including engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a second boy.
Judge Sherry Stephens opted to sentence Brittany Ann Zamora to 20 years in prison instead of the 27 years prosecutors had asked for under a plea agreement. Zamora will also be on lifetime probation upon her release and have to register as a sex offender.
"The defendant did accept responsibility by pleading guilty. She has expressed her remorse. She has no prior criminal history," Stephens said.
Zamora, 28, apologized in court to the victims and to her family.
"I'm not a threat to society by any means," she said, sniffling at times. "I'm a good genuine person who made a mistake and regrets it deeply."
Authorities say Zamora had multiple sexual encounters with the 13-year-old boy in a classroom at Las Brisas Academy in Goodyear and in her car during February and March 2018. Some physical contact between Zamora, who at the time was 27 years old, and the sixth-grader occurred during class while other students were watching a video, according to documents.
Investigators also say a second boy, age 11, had seen Zamora having sex with the 13-year-old student. They say Zamora showed naked photos to both boys and asked them sexual questions.