Prosecutors have announced the charges against San Clemente children's book authorMichael William Snyder
, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old female relative.
The 43-year-old who goes by "Mr. Mike" faces four felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 and a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison if convicted.
Snyder posted his $100,000 bail and is expected back in a Newport Beach courtroom April 8 for an arraignment hearing.
According to prosecutors, Snyder sexually assaulted the girl in his home b
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"He is accused of rubbing her chest and stomach under shirt on several occasions with a sexual intent and instructing her not to tell anyone," reads a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA). "He is accused of having the victim sit on his lap and putting his hands up her shirt with the intent to sexually arouse himself or the child."
When the girl indicated to her mother she did not want to be left alone with Snyder, the mother pressed her daughter and was told about the alleged molestation, which was reported to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Snyder was arrested on March 10.
According to Snyder's Beetle Bug Books website:
Mr. Mike began writing in elementary school. He started writing poetry when he was about 13 years old. As an adult, he worked with a group of kids at an after school program. That's where he got the name "Mr. Mike". The students enjoyed hearing Mr. Mike's poetry and seeing his drawings. They encouraged him to write more poetry and often asked if he ever planned to write a book... that's how Lemon Drop Rain,New Pet, Over the Top and Swimming in Chocolate came to be!!!
Mr. Mike lives in a little house near the ocean in Southern California. When he's not writing and illustrating, he loves to walk on the beach, drop by his favorite chocolate shop and travel to far away places! He's currently working on a retelling of a famous fairy tale.
The OCDA statement notes Snyder travels to and speaks at elementary schools and is also contracted with the California Department of Developmental Services to do in-home visits with disabled children in Orange County.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Snyder or who has information about other incidents is asked to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at 714.347.8794.