Former Frazier Park youth church teacher accused of lewd acts with 13-year-old

Deputies say one assault happened on Christmas Day

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. - A Lebec man was arrested last week for allegedly touching a girl inappropriately.

On April 19, deputies with the Kern County Sheriff's Office went to the home of the suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Steven Michael Brunelle, and arrested him for allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl.

Officials said the incident involving the 13-year-old girl and the 22-year-old former church teacher happened at the victim's home in an area west of Frazier Park.

According to officials, the incident with Brunelle occurred in December of 2012.  The actual report of the inappropriate act was reported in February 2013.

During the investigation deputies were able to develop evidence and information which led them to conclude that there was probable cause to believe Brunelle had molested the victim. At the conclusion of the nearly three month investigation, deputies submitted a complaint to the District Attorney’s Office for review. After reviewing the complaint the District Attorney’s Office obtained a warrant for Brunelle’s arrest, charging him with committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under fourteen years of age, attempting to commit a lewd or lascivious act with a child, and contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense.

Deputies say at least one of the assaults happened on Christmas Day 2012.

(Editor's Note: We've removed the reference of how Brunelle had contact with the alleged victim for the sake of her anonymity.)

Brunelle was booked into the Kern County Jail and his bail was set at $90,000.

Brunelle's father said the charges his son faces are 'too harsh'.

Brunelle is due in court in early May.

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