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Church Teacher Accused of Molestation Pleads Not Guilty

Christopher Byran McKenzie, Sr., of Costa Mesa, is accused of sexually abusing boys over several years in Newport Beach. If convicted he faces 45 years to life in state prison.

A Costa Mesa Sunday school teacher pleaded not guilty Friday to 16 felony counts stemming from child molestation accusations, court records show.

Christopher Bryan McKenzie, Sr. of Costa Mesa, 49, is facing 10 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old, four felony counts of using a minor for the distribution of obscene matter and two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor with sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old against more than one victim, according to the Orange County district attorney's office..

If convicted McKenzie faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.

Prosecutors allege McKenzie molested one boy from 1996 through 2002, another from 2005 through 2007, the third alleged victim from 2009 through 2011 and the fourth from 2010 through this year.

McKenzie was arrested in November by Newport Beach police after two men came forward and said McKenzie had an inappropriate sexual relationship with them over a period of many years when they were between the ages of eight and 16.

McKenzie cleaned pools cleaner throughout Orange County and was a volunteer Sunday school teacher at ROCKHARBOR Church in Costa Mesa before his arrest.

McKenzie was being held without bail at the Orange County Jail. He will return to court on March 15 for a pretrial hearing.


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