PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Brittany Zamora, a 27-year-old former Valley teacher who's accused of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student, appeared in court today for her initial pre-trial conference wearing an orange jumpsuit.
She's been in jail since her arrest in March and today, she pleaded not guilty to nearly a dozen charges. Also in court this morning, Zamora's husband, mother-in-law, and her attorney, who is asking the state to pay for some legal expenses and experts.
"Our client is unable to work or get employment," said Russ Richelsoph, the victim's attorney. "She is in custody and there is no financial ability to pay for any experts, your honor."
The alleged relationship was discovered by the victim's parents, who monitor their son's phone through an app.
They used an app. I think it was called Sentry," Richelsoph said. "It's an app that uses key words, so when there were keywords that were messaged to his phone, that sent an alert to his step-mom and those words led the parents to question him and ask him what was going on."
The victim's attorney tells us the child's parents are very concerned about their son's privacy, so they've decided homeschooling would be the best option.
"He now understands the severity of what happened and what was done to him and how this teacher used him and victimized him," Richelsoph said. "They don't want attention drawn to him, you know. He's a 13-year-old kid, so they don't want other kids asking him questions and bothering him at school."
Zamora's trial is set to begin in August and right now, it appears she does not want to take a plea deal.
"Has a plea deal offer been extended to you?" the judge asked.
"No, your honor. Defense council is not looking for a plea deal at this time," Richelsoph replied.