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School records sought in abuse case

A defense attorney for a Newport Beach man accused of sexually abusing seven boys over more than 15 years has subpoenaed the confidential school records of an undisclosed number of students.

Legal counsel has specifically asked about times the students may have lied about inappropriate activity.


A Newport-Mesa Unified School District employee on Friday turned over the documents to an Orange County Superior Court judge, who immediately sealed the records.

Christopher Bryan McKenzie, a pool man who also volunteered with children at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, is accused of sexually abusing his victims between March 1996 and October 2011, often maintaining a sexual relationship over the course of many years, according to police.


The Orange County district attorney last year charged McKenzie, 49, with 23 felony counts that include lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, exhibiting lewd material to a minor and using a minor in the distribution or production of pornography.

At McKenzie’s latest hearing, a judge accepted documents from the school district and Aquarius Pool Services in Costa Mesa, where McKenzie worked as a subcontractor.

One charge against McKenzie indicates that he was at a pool when he masturbated and sexually penetrated one of his victims.

The subpoena sent to Newport-Mesa Unified requests the cumulative files on a specific number of students.


It instructs the district to include “any incidents where the student made false statements against a school staff member or fellow student, where the student accused either a school staff member or a fellow student of inappropriate sexual touching/activity or where the student acted in a sexually inappropriate manner against a school staff member or fellow student.”

The school district provided the Pilot with a copy of the subpoena with the students’ names redacted.

Newport Beach police arrested McKenzie in November 2012 for allegedly molesting two boys.

The next month, two families added allegations, saying he met their children through Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, where he was a child care volunteer.


In April, prosecutors added charges accusing McKenzie of abusing three additional boys.

Prosecutors say McKenzie performed sex acts on all but one of his victims while they were younger than 14.

His alleged abuse also included oral copulation and using the victims to produce or distribute pornography, according to the charges.

An employee at Aquarius Pool Services, who identified himself only as Gary, said the subpoena requested McKenzie’s tax forms from the time he worked as a subcontractor.

The company’s owner did not return a message seeking comment.

McKenzie could be edging toward trial. The court scheduled a preliminary hearing for January to determine if the case can proceed.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Nicole Nicholson estimated that the hearing could take up to eight hours.

McKenzie remains in Orange County Jail in lieu of $3-million bail.