Costa Mesa church volunteer accused of child sex abuse; additional victims sought

Local news

Police believe there could be other victims after a man involved with a Costa Mesa church congregation was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting two young sisters, officials said Tuesday.

Mark Korando is seen in an undated photo released Nov. 24, 2020, by the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Mark Korando is seen in an undated photo released Nov. 24, 2020, by the Costa Mesa Police Department.

An investigation was launched into 69-year-old Mark Allen Korando of Costa Mesa in September, after the victims’ mother reported he’d abused her daughters, Costa Mesa police said in a news release.

Detectives who interviewed the girls, ages 14 and 12, determined Korando began touching them inappropriately about two years ago.

Korando was arrested at his home Monday on suspicion of digital penetration of a victim under 10, lewd acts on a child, and continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.

Inmate records showed he remained in custody Tuesday evening on $1 million bail. 

During the course of their investigation, officials say they also learned that Korando is involved with Mesa Verde United Methodist Church on the 1700 block of Baker Boulevard. He has chaperoned groups of girls on out-of-state trips “to provide aid and support for communities in need,” according to police.

Korando is also a former planning commissioner for the city.

Detectives are asking the public’s help in identifying any additional victims Korando may have.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Dan Holl at 714-754 4873 or dholl@costamesaca.gov, or Sgt. Scott Stafford at 714-754-4933 or sstafford@costamesaca.gov

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