Irvine PD Arrests Church Camp Counselor for Child Molestation

Nicolas David Cruz mugshot: Irvine PD

This is bad. On July 24, Irvine police officers arrested Nicolas David Cruz, 19, of Mission Viejo on suspicion that he committed lewd acts with a child he was supervising while working as a part-time camp counselor at Mission Viejo Christian Church. Irvine PD arrested him at the church and took him to Orange County Jail. The church then fired Cruz, according to the Irvine PD.

“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 the suspect sexually assaulted her child during the bus ride home from a summer camp outing in Irvine,” stated a July 25 news release from the Irvine PD. “The case was turned over to the Irvine Police Department because the crime occurred in Irvine.”

 Cruz apparently started working at the church in December. He worked  children who were eight and nine years old, and previously worked with children aged five to 11.

Since detectives believe there may be additional victims in this case, they’re urging people who believe their children may have been a victim to contact Detective Mudassar Mahmood at (949) 724-7130 or mmahmood@cityofirvine.org.

Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.

5 Replies to “Irvine PD Arrests Church Camp Counselor for Child Molestation”

  1. Good point. Quick research shows that 95% of these cases are by someone NOT previously convicted of a like crime / not registered. Why do we have the registry, again?

    If your answer is, only 5% reoffend because of the registry – then why do we not have a registry for ALL criminals – to get the reoffense rate down to 5%?

    If your answer were, only 5% reoffend BECAUSE of the registry, how many reoffended before the registry? More quick research shows that in states with a recent registry, it has had a negligeable effect on reoffense rates. Why do we have it?

    As 5% of those previously convicted and registered DID and DO reoffend – how did the registry prevent that? Again, why do we have the registry?

    How did any of this help this alleged victim?

    1. To keep known offenders from getting jobs that give them access to their preferred victims???

      I don’t know what point you’re trying to prove but you sound like an idiot. Are you suggesting we don’t keep track of them, so that pedos can move across the street from our kids schools? If you don’t see the purpose of the registry than maybe you’re too dumb for me to explain it to. Also, there are records of other criminals records and they’re public.

      1. I guess my general point is that the sex offender registry is pointless as far as its stated purpose goes – which is public safety and crime prevention. If the purpose is perpetual shaming and marginalization (not only of the individual with the conviction but their entire family, including children), it is doing a great job.

        Keeping offenders from getting jobs in sensitive professions – for that they have criminal background checks. Like keeping a bank robber from being a bank teller. What exactly is the point of preventing a person from obtaining a contractor’s license or stock broker license – for nothing but their requirement to register? Why can’t someone who slapped a woman’s rear end in a bar not be a pre-school teacher?

        I hope you are aware that in California a person required to register, not on parole, may live wherever they please. Be that 5 feet from our children’s school, or 1999 feet from our children’s school or 2001 feet from our children’s school. And why shouldn’t they? If you disagree, please cite the instances of cases where such a person abused a child in a school. And then the cases where their residence was less than a 5 minute walk from the school.

        Children in school are abused by teachers, coaches and staff – just like this guy – all of whom have no criminal background by definition, and other children. Our children. You sound like you believe such a person is restricted in their choice of residence due to schools, and you sound like you approve. What would be your reasons for that? Yet I would imagine you are perfectly fine with your neighbor driving down your street with multiple DUIs. Or at least you are fine with not knowing that your neighbor drives down your street with multiple DUIs. I don’t get that.

        Of course criminal records are public – in the court repository of the prosecuting jurisdiction. If you do not see the difference between a bewildering set of post conviction lifetime requirements punishable by years in prison as well as public display of CURRENT personal information (including recent medical scars), and a historic criminal record that you may look up at the courthouse maybe you do not understand the system. At all?

        And please explain to me why we have to keep track of this group of criminals (i.e. someone who had a 17 year old girlfriend decades ago) and not a convicted murderer, wife beater, drug dealer, drunk driver, etc.

        I really don’t the see the purpose. Help me out, please. Or call me dumb…

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