Former paraprofessional accused of child abuse faces 35 additional charges


FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed 35 additional charges against a former Poudre School District paraprofessional accused of child abuse.

Tyler Zanella, 36, was arrested in May for allegedly hitting a kindergartner with disabilities “on several occasions,” according to Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS). Police initially identified six victims through surveillance video, all of whom were at-risk due to disabilities.

Poudre School District said Zanella was hired in late August 2022. He has been fired and is not eligible for reemployment within the district.

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Zanella initially faced 129 charges, including crimes against an at-risk juvenile, third-degree assault and child abuse.

DA officials said the 35 additional charges involve five new victims, bringing the total number of victims to 11. The charges also involve four of the previous victims, according to the district attorney’s office.

Zanella’s new charges include:

  • Four counts of third-degree assault — at-risk person
  • 14 counts of harassment
  • 14 counts of child abuse
  • Three counts of third-degree assault

In total, Zanella faces 164 charges.

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Zanella’s criminal history shows a child abuse arrest from 2012. The case was dismissed after Zanella plead guilty to a child abuse — negligence – no injury, a misdemeanor.

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