In December 2008, Zobel began a series of sexually explicit online chats with numerous minor females from around the country, including a 13-year old from Xenia. On June 2, 2009, Zobel, a former music director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ypsilanti and pianist with the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club, exchanged a series of text messages from Michigan with the girl asking if she and one of her friends, who was 12, would “do ANYTHING [he] want[ed]?” if he helped them runaway from Ohio. Zobel drove to Xenia, picked up the two minor girls and drove them to a parking garage in Toledo. He had each girl perform oral sex on him, took photographs of the girls posing either in their bras or with their bare breasts exposed. Zobel then left the girls in the parking garage, giving them each $20.