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Pool cleaner faces new charge

Prosecutor said investigators found child pornography on the man's computer, bringing felony complaints to 24.

February 21, 2014|By Jeremiah Dobruck

Prosecutors on Friday added a child pornography charge against a Newport Beach pool maintenance man already accused of sexually abusing seven boys over more than a decade.

Christopher Bryan McKenzie, 50, has been behind bars since December 2012, when Newport Beach police arrested him on suspicion of molesting two children.

Since then, the Orange County district attorney's office has added accusations from other victims, including boys McKenzie allegedly met while he was a child care volunteer at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa.

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Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Nicole Nicholson said investigators found the pornography on McKenzie's computer. She said it didn't indicate additional victims.

McKenzie pleaded not guilty to the new felony charge, just as he has with the other 23 felonies leveled against him. They include performing lewd acts on a child under 14, using a child to distribute obscene material and distributing pornography to a minor.

A preliminary hearing scheduled for next month could determine whether McKenzie will go to trial.

But his defense may not have access to a portion of evidence in time for that hearing.

McKenzie's public defenders subpoenaed school records of his alleged victims from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. They sought information on any times specific students may have lied about or fabricated inappropriate sexual advances from teachers or other students.

Those records have been sealed since December waiting for the court to determine what, if anything, is relevant to the case.

As it stands, none of the information has been reviewed and won't be available before the preliminary hearing.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Douglas J. Hatchimonji said Friday that it's up to the defense to request a review soon if it wants its subpoenaed documents before the hearing, scheduled for March 14.

McKenzie remains in jail in lieu of $3 million bail.

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