SANTA ANA, Calif. – A registered sex offender convicted of molesting an elementary school student he met through a literacy program has been charged with molesting three more children in the program. Authorities are asking for anyone who information about additional potential victims to contact the Santa Ana Police Department.
Miguel Angel Pineda, 25, of Huntington Beach, has been charged with nine felony counts of a lewd and lascivious act on a child under the age of 14. The nine felonies involve three girls between the ages of 7 and 8 years old who he met while working for the Boys and Girls Club.
Pineda is accused of meeting the three new accusers at Washington Elementary School in Santa Ana when he read to them through the Boys and Girls Club Literacy Program in 2017 and 2018.
Pineda was required to register as a sex offender after he pleaded guilty in 2019 to molesting another student he met through a literacy program run by the Boys and Girls Club, which has since been renamed the Boys and Girls Club of Central Orange Coast.
On March 23, 2021, Santa Ana Police arrested Pineda after three additional girls came forward to report they had been molested by Pineda after meeting him through the literacy program.
Pineda is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail.
“Children are the most vulnerable of victims,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “They trust without question because they have no reason not to trust. But that trust can be manipulated by predators who use it to select and prey on the most innocent of victims. And now these children must live the rest of their lives with the fear that someone who should have been there to help them instead robbed them of their innocence.”
Pineda had access to children through this employment with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Orange Coast and authorities believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Santa Ana Police Detective Nick Vega at 714-245-8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org or to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.