San Clemente children's book writer Michael Snyder is in possibly the worst situation imaginable for a children's book writer and family man: He's being accused of having sex with an underage girl for almost a year.
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, 43-year-old Snyder was arrested at about 7 p.m. last night, just as he was picking up his children from the local Boys and Girls Club. Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino says the "child molestation" crimes allegedly began in May 2010 against a girl who is under 14 years old.
Snyder's website, Beetle Bug Books, shows...
... that the suspected statutory rapist actually makes visits to schools around the country, where he speaks at elementary-school assemblies and hosts "Lunch With Mr. Mike" events.
His website brags: "Mr. Mike's presentations have been seen by over 1/2 million students since 1998!" (Click here to see if he's visited your child's school.)Then there's Snyder's company, which provides services to families of disabled people through the State Department of Developmental Services, according to City News Service.
Here's his bio on Beetle Bug Books:
"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."
Snyder's alleged victim told her mother about their sexual relations on Wednesday evening. From there, "we began our investigation yesterday morning, and developed substantial probable cause to arrest him," says Amormino.
Snyder is currently being held on $100,000 bail.
Update: More from Snyder's website, which just gets creepier the more we browse:ABC7 talked to Snyder's neighbors, who shared the following disturbing details:
Authorities spent hours collecting evidence from Snyder's home in San Clemente on Thursday.
Neighbors said he and his wife adopted their teenage son and daughter from China last year.
"Like a regular dad, they take these kids everywhere," said neighbor Elisa Luna. "Every weekend, they spoil these kids. The kids are very happy."
Here's the video report:
Investigators are searching for more possible victims, so call (866) TIP-OCSD if you have any information along those lines.
Originally posted at 2:28 p.m.