ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Date: January 20, 2016
WESTMINSTER, Calif. – A former church assistant is scheduled to face trial for molesting two girls under the age of 14 after befriending their families through the church. Branden Edward Shumate, 37, Koloa, Hawaii, is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 with a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing lewd acts upon multiple victims. If convicted, Shumate faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Jan. 21, 2016, at 8:30 a.m., in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster.
Between Sept. 13, 1997, and Sept. 12, 1998, the defendant, then 18 years old, is accused of working as an assistant in a church where his father was a pastor and leader of the church in Lake Forest. During that time the defendant is accused of organizing a trip to an Irvine water park for members of the church. Continue reading