Orange County News

OC Sunday school teacher accused of child molestation

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A 48-year-old Costa Mesa Sunday school teacher is behind bars facing felony charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

"Our biggest concern is that there are additional victims that have been victimized and have not come forward thus far," said Kathy Lowe with the Newport Beach Police Department.

Christopher McKenzie Sr. is an Orange County pool cleaner and volunteer Sunday school teacher at Rockharbor in Costa Mesa. Police say at this point there is no evidence McKenzie targeted any children in the congregation.

Detectives won't say how or where he met the two male victims who have come forward, only that the alleged abuse occurred over a long period of time.

"At the time of the incidents they were between the ages of 8 to 16," said Lowe. "The first victim was allegedly abused between the late 1990s to 2005."

The other boy allegedly fell victim to the 48-year-old between 2005 and 2007. That's when McKenzie applied to be a volunteer at his church.

"We hold the safety of our families in the highest regard and we employ extensive measures to ensure the protection of all our classrooms, volunteers and especially our children," Rockharbor lead pastor Todd Proctor.

Rockharbor says it does extensive background and reference checks on every volunteer. Members of the congregation surprised to hear of the arrest.

"You have to be concerned about the kids, it's so bad to hear about how people do stuff like that these days," said Alex Antonescu.

Anyone with information on McKenzie is urged to call Newport Beach detectives at (949) 644-3776.

McKenzie is being held without bail.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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sex crimes, orange county news, leanne suter
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