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 firstname.lastname@example.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.