Central Point teacher pleads not guilty to sex abuse

A Crater High School teacher accused of having sex with an underage student has entered not guilty pleas to 12 counts of second and third-degree sexual abuse.

Jeffrey Robert Zundel, 52, entered the pleas Dec. 3. in Jackson County Circuit Court.

On Thursday he was granted a travel permit to take a two-week family vacation with his wife and two children to New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Conditions of the permit include that he have no unsupervised contact with minors except for one of his children who is a minor, court records show.

Zundel has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Jan. 11.

Defense attorney Jeni Feinberg has been hired to represent Zundel in the case. She has represented clients in numerous high-profile cases in the Rogue Valley.

In an indictment, Zundel is accused of having sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse and sexual contact with a girl under age 18 between March 1 and June 9.

School district officials said they received a sexual misconduct complaint against Zundel on Oct. 26, called police and placed him on administrative leave. Central Point police said the alleged sexual misconduct involved Zundel and a student at Crater High School in Central Point.

He was arrested on Oct. 26 and released on Oct. 27 on $4,000 bail. Bail conditions include that he have no contact with the alleged victim, court records show.

Zundel — who taught English, world studies and photography — is the husband of Michelle Zundel, chief academic officer with the Medford School District and formerly the principal at Ashland High School.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com