A Florida woman is facing felony charges for allegedly posing online as a homeschooler to sexually assault an underage boy.
22-year-old Alyssa Ann Zinger was arrested in Tampa on Nov. 24 and taken to jail; she faces two counts of lewd or lascivious battery and five counts of lewd or lascivious molestation. The police don’t believe this was an isolated incident.
“It is disturbing and unsettling to see an adult take advantage of a child and prey on them,” Chief Lee Bercaw said in a statement. “Anyone who may have been a victim of Zinger’s, we encourage you to come forward. The Tampa Police Department will support you and ensure a predator like Zinger doesn’t cause you or others additional harm.”
Police say they were tipped off that Zinger allegedly had a relationship with a child between the ages of 12 and 15, and that following an investigation, they learned that she “communicated with the victim primarily through an online social media platform.”
According to a search warrant obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, that platform was Snapchat. The warrant detailed additional information about at least one relationship that allegedly spanned from May through September. Zinger allegedly sent explicit material to the minor and “engaged in sexual activities several times” with him.
She also allegedly admitted that she’d had other illegal sexual encounters.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that police stopped Zinger and a minor after they tried to steal from a Nordstrom store over the summer. “Zinger identified herself to an officer using her name, but stated she was born in 2009. The officer could not find information on her with the date of birth she provided, but found an Alyssa Ann Zinger who was born in 2001,” the article said.
An officer confirmed that she was indeed an adult, as did her employer, the grocery chain Publix.
Zinger, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has reportedly pleaded not guilty.