FORMER VOLUNTEER SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER SENTENCED TO 60 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING SIX MINOR BOYS AND POSSESSING AND

Case # 12HF3538

Date: September 4, 2015

FORMER VOLUNTEER SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER SENTENCED TO 60 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING SIX MINOR BOYS AND POSSESSING AND DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former volunteer Sunday school teacher was sentenced today to 60 years to life in state prison for molesting six minor boys and possessing and distributing child pornography. Christopher Bryan McKenzie Sr., 51, Costa Mesa, was found guilty by a jury of 11 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old, one felony count of attempted lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old, four felony counts of using a minor for sex acts, one felony count of attempting to use a minor for sex acts, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor, and one felony count of possession of child pornography with sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct with a child and committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old against more than one victim.

At the time of the crimes McKenzie worked as a swimming pool cleaner. The defendant was a volunteer Sunday school teacher at Christ Church by the Sea in Newport Beach between 2004 and 2006 and at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa.

On multiple occasions between March 31, 1996, and Jan. 8, 2012, McKenzie committed lewd acts upon six different victims under the age of 14, including but not limited to masturbating, sexually penetrating, and orally copulating the victims. The defendant instructed several of the victims to remove their clothes and took nude photos of the victims under the guise that the photos would be used for modeling a sculpture.

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) continued the investigation of this case with the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF). In December 2012 investigators found the defendant to be in possession and control of child pornography and was subsequently arrested by NBPD.

OCCETF is comprised of members from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; United States Postal Inspection Service; and NBPD. OCCETF investigates Internet-related crimes against children and crimes involving the possession, production, and distribution of child pornography.

Pursuant to Marsy’s law, one of the victims submitted a written impact statement that was read by the People at McKenzie’s sentencing today and said in part, “A door opened for me that has led me to understand why this happened, and how it was not my fault. This led me to forgive the man that abused me, not for his own benefit, but for mine.” His statement went on to address the parents of the other victims and said in part that, “The circumstances of how this all played out was out of the ordinary, there were no neon signs to alarm you. If he fooled a whole church congregation, then it was done very carefully.”

A brother of one of the victims delivered an impact statement to the court and said in part, “I can’t put into words the feelings I felt when my brother first told me what you did to him. To this day, it is still very much affecting him in life and I hope all the other victims can delete the memories of the horrible things you did to them and move on and live a happy life.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.