Authorities are searching for additional victims following the arrest of a foster youth caseworker accused of having "unlawful sex" with a 16-year-old girl in a Brea parking lot, officials said Thursday.
Morris Leroi Brinker III, 31, worked as a case manager with neglected and abused children at Children’s Law Center of California and had been assigned to the victim's case, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The Corona resident was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and bribery of a witness — all felonies — on July 19, prosecutors said.
He allegedly have unlawful sex with the 16-year-old on June 29 and was arrested at his home by Brea police detectives on July 3, after the crime was reported.
The incident occurred in Brinker's car in a parking lot, according to Brea police.
"He had access to many different children in his work. He would often drive them in his own personal vehicle, which is part of his job description," said Brea police Lt. Darrin Devereux.
Because Brinker was in a position of trust with access to minors, officials believe there could be additional survivors.
"He was entrusted with some very vulnerable young people and our fear is that he may have engaged in sexual activity with other young girls," Devereaux said.
The Children’s Law Center of California said in a statement that Brinker has been fired.
Brinker was released on bail, but prosecutors say shortly after he began pressuring the victim not to testify and tried to bribe her.
He was again arrested by Brea police July 17, this time in Fullerton, officials said.
If convicted as charged, Brinker could face a maximum possible sentence of 14 years and eight months in state prison.
He was previously convicted of second-degree robbery and shooting at a home in San Bernardino in 2005, according to DA's officials.
He is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 3 in Fullerton and was being held on $1 million bail.
Anyone with additional information can contact Brea police detectives at 714-671-4438.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the allegations against Brinker. The story has been updated.