A Florida woman was recently arrested after pretending to be a teenager to engage in a sexual relationship with a boy she met online, according to law enforcement.
Alyssa Ann Zinger, 22, stands accused of two felony counts of lewd or lascivious battery and five felony counts of lewd or lascivious molestation — defendant over the age of 18 and victim between the ages of 12 and 15, according to the Tampa Police Department.
The charges are related to a minor boy. The suspect was allegedly in a sexual relationship with him for several months this summer. Police believe there are likely to be additional victims.
“It is disturbing and unsettling to see an adult take advantage of a child and prey on them,” Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a Friday news release. “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.”
The investigation began on Oct. 19 after Zinger allegedly sent a video to “several [redacted] minor children” via Snapchat, according to a search warrant obtained by Law&Crime. That video “was said to depict” some form of “sexual intercourse” involving the victim. Multiple witnesses referred to this video, police claim.
“They all believed the defendant to be near their age and home-schooled,” the search warrant reads.
In an interview with police on Nov. 7, a middle school girl allegedly told investigators she had “engaged in a willful sexual act” with the boy at the center of the case sometime in October, and that video of this incident was later sent to several of their “classmates through Snapchat” by someone with the username “alyssazingerr.”
The girl told investigators Zinger had recorded the video off her cellphone, according to the search warrant. That day, Zinger allegedly asked if she could come over to the girl’s house to charge her phone. Then, when the girl was in the bathroom, Zinger allegedly began recording videos and other data from the middle schooler’s phone using her phone’s video camera.
The middle school girl said she got physical with Zinger to force her to give back her cellphone and then told her father what the 22-year-old woman had done.
When the boy spoke with investigators, he allegedly said he and the suspect engaged in various forms of sexual intercourse on around 30 separate occasions. The boy also said Zinger regularly sent him sexually explicit images and videos via Snapchat — which was their typical method of communication. This relationship lasted from around May 28 through mid-September, according to the warrant.
According to police, Zinger also told the boy that she had previously engaged in sexual activity with various other minors around his age “prior to and through the course of their [redacted] relationship.”
“Victim stated [he] believed her to be approximately 14 years old and home-schooled,” the warrant reads. “While speaking with [redacted] stated she physically seemed much older than her age.”
Detectives also claim Zinger previously lied about her age when she and the boy were caught shoplifting at a Nordstrom in July. At the time, she allegedly claimed she had a half-sister with the same name who was eight years her senior, the search warrant says.
Rather than being a home-schooled teen, she was a part-time bakery clerk at a Publix supermarket, police say.
“This did not happen at our school,” Hillsborough County Schools said in a statement provided to multiple local media outlets. “However, we are grateful that a student felt safe enough to come to a trusted adult on campus alerting them about this individual. Our staff immediately contacted law enforcement so they could begin an investigation.”
Additional charges are likely forthcoming, police say.
Zinger was arrested on Nov. 24 and released from Orient Road Jail later that same day on a surety bond. According to Hillsborough County records, each charge was assessed a bond of $7,500.
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