Volunteer Sunday School Teacher Accused Of Lewd Acts With A Child
NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Newport Beach police have arrested a 48-year-old volunteer Sunday school teacher and charged him with lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
Christopher Bryan McKenzie, Sr. is a resident of Costa Mesa and a pool cleaner by trade.
McKenzie was arrested Friday after police said two adult male victims came forward to say he had sexual relationships with them from the 90s through 2007. The men said they ranged in age from 8 to 16 at the time of the inappropriate relationships.
Police said based on their investigation, a no-bail arrest warrant was issued for McKenzie.
He was taken to the Orange County Jail without incident, said authorities.
McKenzie is scheduled to be arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center early next week. He is a volunteer Sunday school teacher at ROCKHARBOR Church in Costa Mesa.
Saturday evening, CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Rachel Kim spoke to church members following services. She was told McKenzie first started volunteering in 2007, the same year as one of his alleged victims said the abuse stopped.
ROCKHARBOR provided Kim with a written statement: “We are shocked and heartbroken to learn of these allegations. We have asked all our parents and families to enter into difficult conversations with their children.”
Said Frances Dibenedictis, “We love each other [at this church]. And we’re all going to be very supportive through this. You pray for everybody that’s involved and you just stick together.”
Officials are concerned that McKenzie might have more alleged victims given he has access to children through the church and his job as a pool cleaner.
Kathy Lowe of the Newport Beach Police department told Kim, “We would like to reach out to the community and have anyone with information regarding Mr. McKenzie or potentially may be a victim to contact one of our detectives.”
If you have any additional information related to McKenzie’s alleged activities, you are urged to call Newport Beach Detective Freeman at (949)-644-3776, or Detective Carpentieri at (949)-644-3772.