Mission Viejo Church Camp Counselor Facing Felony Sexual Assault Charges for Molesting Young Girls Under His Care

Mission Viejo Church Camp Counselor Facing Felony Sexual Assault Charges for Molesting Young Girls Under His Care

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 19-year-old camp counselor has been charged with sexually assaulting two young girls during summer camp outings.

Nicolas David Cruz, 19, of Mission Viejo was arrested by the Irvine Police Department on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at Mission Viejo Christian Church. Cruz works as a part-time camp counselor for the church where he currently works with children between eight and nine years old.

“As a parent you must be able to know your child is safe at camp,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “It is unconscionable that someone trusted to work as a camp counselor would betray that trust in order to prey on and victimize young children. My office will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law against this perpetrator and to warn anyone who chooses to violate children.”

Cruz has been charged with three felony counts of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 and an allegation of multiple victims.

He is being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on August 16, 2019 in CJ1.

On the evening of Tuesday, July 23, the mother of an 8-year-old from Mission Viejo reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that Cruz sexually assaulted her child during a bus ride home from a church summer camp outing in Irvine. Upon further investigation, the Irvine Police Department located an additional victim who had been sexually assaulted during a camp outing last week.

Cruz has worked for the church since December 2018, working with children between the ages of five and 11 years old.

Investigators believe there may be additional victims.

Anyone who believes their child may have been victimized is asked to call Irvine Police Detective Mudassar Mahmood at 949-724-7130 or  mmahmood@cityofirvine.org.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit.