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Former Crater teacher has new court date

As I read your story on the South Medford teacher charged with sex abuse, I wondered, whatever happened to the Central Point teacher arrested last fall? Haven't heard a word about Jeff Zundel's case.

— Ken, via email

We haven't forgotten about former Crater Renaissance Academy English and humanities teacher Jeffrey Robert Zundel, accused of having sexual intercourse with an underage student last fall, but there hasn't been much to report since the Central Point School District voted to fire him in December.

Zundel's next court appearance is a pretrial conference set for June 27, Jackson County Circuit Court records show. It had been set for May, but was rescheduled because a lawyer involved in Zundel's defense was involved in a federal case, a motion filed May 12 in circuit court shows.

Zundel, who had taught English, world studies and photojournalism at Crater Renaissance Academy, entered not guilty pleas in November to 11 felony counts and one misdemeanor count for charges alleging sexual intercourse and sexual contact with a girl under the age of 18 between March 1 and June 9. Zundel had taught at the school since for the 1986-87 school years and from 2004 until the school board unanimously fired him "for gross neglect of duty and gross unfitness for duty," a media release stated Dec. 22.

He was arrested Oct. 26 on charges that followed a sexual misconduct investigation at the school and has been out on bail. In March, the court granted Zundel a travel permit to go to Los Angeles with his children and wife, Michelle Zundel, chief academic officer with the Medford School District and former Ashland High School principal.

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