Cypress Man Accused of Using Social Media to Contact Underage Girls for Lewd Acts; More Possible Victims Sought
Investigators are searching for more possible victims of a Cypress man who was arrested last week on suspicion of contacting teenage girls through social media for lewd acts, authorities said.
Michael Theodore Mordaunt, 45, was taken into custody July 17 following an investigation by the Cypress and Garden Grove police departments, according to a news release.
“Between Feb. 25, 2009, and Jan. 15, 2014, Mordaunt is accused of creating several Myspace and Facebook accounts using the image of a young teenage boy who is surfing,” the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. During that time period, Mordaunt was working in the information technology department of The Boeing Company in Seal Beach, officials said.
His alleged victims, whom he is also accused of contacting through text messages and phone calls, were primarily between the ages of 12 and 16.
“Mordaunt is accused of having sexually explicit conversations or attempting to meet with the victims,” the DA’s statement continued. “The defendant is accused of requesting and receiving sexually explicit pictures from several victims.”
The Cypress and Garden Grove police departments launched separate investigations in 2013, according to officials. The case was later consolidated into a multiagency investigation that included assistance from the Anaheim, La Palma, Los Alamitos and Seal Beach police departments, as well as the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.
Mordaunt was charged with a slew of felonies: 14 counts of contacting a child with the intent to commit a specific crime, five counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, two counts of meeting a minor with the intent to engage in lewd conduct, and one count of possession and control of child pornography. He was also charged with a sentencing enhancement allegation for substantial sexual conduct with a child.
After Mordaunt’s arrest, search warrants were served at his home and at his place of work, police said.
Computer-forensic analysts from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement scanned electronic devices for evidence of child pornography and attempts to lure young girls via the Internet for sex, officials said.
Mordaunt was booked at the Orange County Central Men’s Jail in Santa Ana, online records showed, and was released on $300,000 bail Tuesday. He is expected to be arraigned Monday morning at the West Justice Center in Westminster.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 27 years and four months in state prison and mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender, the DA’s office said.
“It is likely that this suspect has been in contact with other victims of these crimes of which we are not yet aware,” Garden Grove police said in a news release.
Anyone with information is asked to call Garden Grove police Investigator Young at 714-741-5836, Cypress police Detective Deanna Hartman at 714-229-3391 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Paul Carvo at 714-347-8794.