Last Updated on May 16, 2022
Law enforcement officials in Tucson have announced the arrest of a 29-year-old high school guidance counselor who is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The counselor previously helped to organize a drag show for students, according to a report from The Blaze.
On May 3, the Tucson Police Department’s Child Sexual Assault Unit received a report of an inappropriate relationship between Zobella Brazil Vinik, 29, and a 15-year-old student at Tucson High Magnet School. At the time, Vinik was a counselor at the school.
“On May 4th, 2022, detectives from the Tucson Police Department Sexual Assault Unit informed the administration of Tucson High Magnet School of an ongoing investigation into one of its counselors, Zobella Brazil Vinik,” read a statement from Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. “The administration was informed of an alleged inappropriate relationship between the counselor and a 15-year-old student from Tucson High.”
On May 5, Vinik was placed on administrative leave while the investigation unfolded. She ultimately resigned from her position later that day and is no longer employed by the district.
Not long after, Vinik turned herself in to the police on May 11. She has since been charged with one count of sexual conduct with a minor and was booked into the Pima County Jail.
Vinik’s ex-wife told local outlet KVOA that the 15-year-old was living at the couple’s home. “She reported that the 29-year-old and the 15-year-old have been co-sleeping together and she recently found Vinik’s ‘underwear hidden under a pillow on the bed’ the student had been sleeping in,” KVOA reported.
The outlet also said that police seized cell phones through a search warrant, which “revealed inappropriate messages between the two that supports a sexual/romantic relationship.”
Arizona school counselor who arranged drag show for students is accused of having sex with a 15 year-old student pic.twitter.com/l2Q7AlZrGY
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 15, 2022
Prior to her arrest, Zobella Vinik oversaw the school’s “Q Space” afterschool program. The program is described as a “space students will learn about LGBTQIA+ history, create community, and engage in individual and group work exploring identity and collaborating to discover community care and joy.”
She was also instrumental in organizing the school’s first student-involved “drag show” that was scheduled for May 7.
“The counselors created an Instagram page for the drag show, which followed one other account, THMS counseling, which followed the account in return along with the THMS yearbook account. The counselors also invited students to access a “drag inquiry form” using their Microsoft Office student account,” reads a report from the AZ Free Press that was published in March.