More abuse-related charges possible for accused molester

Prosecutors are considering filing additional charges against a Newport Beach pool cleaner accused of sexually abusing at least seven boys over nearly 15 years.

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Nicole Nicholson said in court Friday that new information could indicate more victims of accused molester Christopher Bryan McKenzie.

She declined to detail what she recently discovered, saying only that "new information has been developed" from interviews with alleged victims.

McKenzie, 50, has been in jail since Newport Beach police arrested him in December 2012 on allegations that he sexually abused two boys.

The Orange County district attorney's office has since charged him with 32 felony counts related to the sexual abuse of seven boys from 1996 through 2010. Nicholson said the new allegations center on that same time period.

Charges against McKenzie 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.

In April, McKenzie pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

McKenzie probably met two of the boys at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa, where he volunteered in a fifth-grade classroom, church officials said in 2012.

A preliminary hearing for McKenzie scheduled for Friday was delayed until March 14 because of the possibility of the new charges.

Before that hearing — which will determine whether there's enough evidence to go to trial — a judge will decide if confidential school records obtained by the defense are admissible.

In November, a public defender representing McKenzie subpoenaed the records of an undisclosed number of Newport-Mesa Unified School District students, specifically asking for "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."

Prosecutors objected to the move. A judge will review the records and decide what's relevant to the trial before releasing any of the information to the defense, Nicholson said.

Darren Thompson, the public defender representing McKenzie, declined to comment on the subpoena Friday, saying he hasn't seen what's in the documents. A judge immediately sealed them.

A hearing on that matter is scheduled for Feb. 21.

McKenzie remains in Orange County Jail on $3 million bail.

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