Prosecutors have announced the charges against San Clemente children's book author Michael 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 between June 2010 and this month.
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.