A former Christian private school teacher from St. Louis, Missouri was terminated from her job after reporting to officials that her underage daughter was sexually assaulted by a member of the school’s staff.
Phoebe McVey was a teacher at Principia School, a Christian Science academy, and was let go two days after Zachary Retzlaff was indicted on charges of statutory rape. Retzlaff was the school’s director of telecommunications and allegedly started having sexual relations with McVey’s daughter when he was 31-years-old and she was just sixteen.
A previous lawsuit had been filed against Principia School last year, in which Retzlaff was accused of raping McVey’s daughter more than 40 times, holding orgy sex parties for students to attend, and partaking in rough sexual behavior which included choking to the point of unconsciousness.
According to McVey, who was an employee of the school for eight years, she first became aware of the “relationship” between Retzlaff and her daughter during a school trip to New Hampshire in 2015. Upon returning from the trip, McVey immediately reported Retzlaff to authorities. On July 22, 2015, Retzlaff was indicted.
According to McVey, on July 24th, 2015 she was told her contract with the school would be terminated on July 31, 2015.
For McVey, it wasn’t just a job she was losing. Her family had been living on the school campus in an apartment, so losing her job also meant losing her home.
The previous lawsuit was dismissed by the McVeys in February of this year. According to court documents, officials have reopened the case against Retzlaff due to evidence indicating that he violated a court order that prohibited his involvement with the underage girl.
Retzlaff faces one felony count of statutory rape, which is still pending in St. Louis County Circuit Court, according to The River Front Times. Retzlaff is a former school board trustee as well as a family member of the school’s Dean of Admissions.
Despite her mother filing the suit, McVey’s daughter seems to be in love with Retzlaff. Even with him facing charges of statutory rape, McVey’s daughter ran away from home in hopes of marrying the much older man. She also sought a legal order from the courts to protect her from her parents.
In an email to St. Louis Today from Laurel Walters, Principia’s marketing and communications director, she claimed Retzlaff was not involved with students of the school:
‘Zachary Retzlaff is a former employee of Principia. He worked in our Telecommunications Department and was never a teacher or a coach. His position did not involve contact with students at Principia School.’
It’s believed that the McVey’s daughter is currently residing with Retzlaff at his residence and is taking care of his children. Retzlaff has been a widower since 2014. The McVey’s daughter has abandoned her future plans in hopes of marrying Retzlaff after she receives her high school diploma. She also plans to continue raising the children he fathered with his since-deceased wife.
The current lawsuit against Retzlaff seeks more than $1 million.
Feature Image is a mugshot of Zachary Retzlaff, via St. Louis Today.