Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, a 34-year-old child care service provider from Costa Mesa, was convicted on Tuesday of molesting 17 boys who ranged in ages from as young as two years old to 14-years-old.
Zakrzewski was convicted of 34 felony sex charges related to 17 victims in crimes that prosecutors said took place between 2014 and 2019.
Investigators found a book on Zakrzewski’s hard drive about pedophilia and the prosecutor, Juliet Oliver, told the jury that Zakrzewski followed the chapter entitled “Hunting Season” as he reached out to a victim’s family and asked to be an occasional babysitter – it turned out he was hunting their little boy.
Zakrzewski also did not do himself any favors as he videotaped much of the evidence later used against him in court.
Oliver argued that Zakrzewski “caressed” a victim who was seen lying on him while nude to “normalize” the molestation, as seen in one of the videos.
In another video Zakrzewski is touching himself with a boy in his lap and when he finished, he allegedly thanked the boy. Oliver told the jury “There are no words.”
In another video Zakrzewski played a game he called “rocket ship” with a boy on his lap and declared, “It feels like we’re having sex,” according to Oliver.
Zakrzewski picked parents who did not know each other and their children likewise did not know each other. Oliver told the jury that Zakrzewski was a mastermind as he groomed the parents to believe he was the perfect fit to protect each of their children but it turned out to be “every parents’ worst nightmare.”
Zakrzewski touted his work with children with behavioral disabilities and advertised that he had years of experience, was CPR trained and had background checks, according to Oliver.
Oliver also verified that many of the victims were 6 to 9 years old.
Zakrzewski’s attorney, Jennifer Ryan of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, unbelievably tried to defend him by arguing that while Zakrzewski is charged with showing pornography to some of the victims, photos depicting nudity and sex acts are not necessarily “harmful” matter as charged. She told the jurors that “Each charge has separate laws, separate guides.”
Ryan also argued that there was no evidence to support a charge that Zakrzewski directed a dog to lick the private parts of one of the victims.
Ryan also argued that while some of the evidence in the trial showed “two kids running around” in their underwear “That’s not harmful material.” She added that “Sometimes kids run around without their clothes … There’s nothing wrong with a little boy running around in shorts … That’s not against the law.”
The mother of the child also testified about what her son told her about the incident, which prompted Oliver to say that “Any contact, however slight, is sufficient” for a conviction.
Oliver said there was such a staggering volume of videos and that the investigators never event went through all of them.
Ultimately the Jury sided with Oliver and nailed Zakrzewski. He has not yet been sentenced but it is expected that his prison sentence will be lengthy.