30-year-old Costa Mesa man faces 490 years to life for molesting boys as young as 4 years old
By LB Indy staff
A man who served as a nanny for families across Southern California, including in Laguna Beach, was charged with additional felony child molestation charges on Friday, Aug. 30, for victimizing 12 young boys under his care, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. The boys ranged in age from 4 to 10 years old.
Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, 30, of Costa Mesa, was arrested on May 17 by Laguna Beach Police Department detectives at a local airport after deplaning an international flight. At that time, Zakrzewski was charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography.
Zakrzewski pleaded not guilty to the original charges in May. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1.25 million bail.
Zakrzewski now faces a total of 25 felony counts, including 19 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10, and one felony count of possession of child pornography. He also faces one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, and one felony count of an attempted lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14.
Prosecutors allege the crimes were committed between Jan. 1, 2016 and May 17, 2019. He faces 490 years to life if convicted on all charges.
Zakrzewski pleaded not guilty to the additional charges filed against him on Friday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 8 at the Harbor Justice Center in Department H1.
In early May 2019, a Laguna Beach couple reported to Laguna Beach Police that their babysitter, Zakrzewski, had touched their 8-year-old son inappropriately and they were concerned for the safety of their son and potentially other children.
The couple had hired Zakrzewski to care for their son through one of his several babysitting websites. The Laguna Beach Police Department’s Major Crimes & Intelligence Unit immediately opened an investigation, which led to the identification of a second 7-year-old victim in Los Angeles and 10 more boys from across Southern California.
“These parents were led to believe that they could trust this man with the most precious thing in their entire world—their children,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Instead, he preyed on these innocent boys and violated that trust in a vile and sadistic way.”
Anyone who has information related to this investigation or any other unreported incidents involving Zakrzewski is urged to call the Laguna Beach Investigations Division line at 949-715-1300.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.