Case # 11HF0852
Date: October 29, 2014
CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR TO FACE TRIAL FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 12-YEAR-OLD RELATIVE AND 9-YEAR-OLD CHILD OF FAMILY FRIEND
SANTA ANA – A children’s book author will face trial tomorrow for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old relative and a 9-year-old child of a family friend. Michael William Snyder, 47, San Clemente, is charged with five felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old and one felony count of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years old or younger with a sentencing enhancement for committing lewd acts against more than one victim. If convicted, Snyder faces a maximum sentence of 90 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, at 9:15 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 7, 2010, Snyder is accused of having then 9-year-old Jane Doe #2 in his San Clemente home before taking her to San Diego Zoo and orally copulating her.
Between June 2010 and March 2011, Snyder is accused of sexually assaulting then 12-year-old Jane Doe #1, a female relative, at his home. Snyder is accused of having Jane Doe #1 sit on his lap and putting his hands up her shirt with the intent to sexually arouse himself or the child by rubbing her chest and stomach under her shirt on several occasions. Snyder would then instruct Jane Doe #1 to not tell anyone.
Jane Doe #1’s mother became suspicious that Snyder was sexually assaulting Jane Doe #1 when Jane Doe #1 did not want to be left alone with Snyder. Subsequently, Jane Doe #1 disclosed the molestation to her mother. Jane Doe #1’s mother reported the abuse to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case.
Snyder was a children’s book author who travels to and speaks at elementary schools. At the time of the crime, he also contracted with the California Department of Developmental Services to do in-home visits with disabled children in Orange County.
Deputy District Attorney Mike Carroll of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.