LAKE FOREST, Ca. (May 26, 2017) – Orange County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Detail investigators on Thursday, May 25, arrested Ruben Meulenberg, a 32-year-old youth mentor at Saddleback Church on suspicion of inappropriate relations with at least two juveniles.
SVD investigators on Wednesday, May 24, were contacted after patrol deputies took a report alleging a man working as a junior high youth mentor with Saddleback Church in Lake Forest had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old boy.
During the course of the investigation, a second victim – another 14-year-old boy – was identified.
Both victims indicated they had engaged in inappropriate conduct with the suspect for the past year while he volunteered at the church. There have been several alleged incidents of lewd and inappropriate conduct, several of which have occurred on the church property.
One of the victims attended Saddleback Church and was part of the Junior High Ministry program when the lewd acts occurred.
Investigators arrested Ruben Meulenberg, 32, of Lake Forest on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a child. He was booked into Orange County Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.
Meulenberg volunteered at the church for approximately six years. Based on the allegations, the suspect’s leadership role and access to children, investigators believe there may be additional victims.
Anyone with information regarding additional victims is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victim’s Detail at (714) 647-7418 or (714) 647-7000. Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at occrimestoppers.org.