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Daily Pilot

Court postpones suspected molester's arraignment

Christopher Bryan McKenzie faces 45 years to life in prison if he is convicted of all the charges against him.

By Jeremiah Dobruck and Jamie Rowe

8:13 PM PST, December 21, 2012

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SANTA ANA — The arraignment for a Sunday school volunteer accused of sexually abusing children has been delayed while the investigation into his case continues.

Christopher Bryan McKenzie appeared in court at Orange County Mens' Jail in Santa Ana on Friday, but the hearing was continued to Jan. 11, prosecutors said.

It's alleged that McKenzie formed relationships with at least two children from Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa and sexually abused them between November 2009 to November 2011.

McKenzie, who turns 49 on Saturday according to jail records, is a pool cleaner from Costa Mesa. He applied to be a child-care volunteer at Rock Harbor in late 2007, the church's communication director, Jeff Gideon, has said.

Newport Beach police arrested McKenzie last month on suspicion of sexually abusing two boys, one from the late 1990s to 2005 and the other from 2005 to 2007. Two families from the church came forward with more allegations after his arrest.

He faces 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.

If convicted, McKenzie faces up to 45 years to life in state prison.

jeremiah.dobruck2@latimes.com and jamie.rowe@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck and @jamierowe3