November 20, 2023
Zakrzewski’s victims ranged in age from 2-12 years old. According to the investigation, he also showed another boy sexually explicit images with the intent to sexually abuse him as well.
Matthew Zakrzewski, a 34-year-old nanny, was sentenced on Nov. 17 to 700 years in prison for sexually assaulting 16 boys under his care. According to NBC News, Zakrzewski’s victims ranged in age from two to 12 years old, and he allegedly also showed another boy sexually explicit images with the intent to sexually abuse him as well. The 34-year-old taped a lot of his crimes against the children, which the Orange County District Attorney’s office said occurred between January 2014 and May 2019 in California.
According to the DA’s office, “Zakrzewski was ultimately charged with a total of 34 felony counts, including 27 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, two felony counts of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10, and one felony count of possession of child pornography.”
The DA’s office said, “He also faced one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, and one felony count of an attempted lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14.”
As Fox 59 reported, the investigation into Zakrzewski began in earnest in May 2019 after a couple who lived in Laguna Beach claimed and reported that their babysitter inappropriately touched their 8-year-old son. The parents were concerned not only about their child but also the children of others.
After they opened the investigation, police discovered an additional child whom Zakrzewski had victimized, which led to 10 more victims across Southern California. Zakrzewski was hired by the parents through one of several sitter sites he operated, calling himself “the original Sitter Buddy” on one of his websites. His site also established him as someone parents could trust, “In the eighth grade, I discovered what a joy it was to work with children and positively impact in their lives through my school’s `Buddy Program,’” Zakrzewski wrote on the site.
“Now, I am a full-service TrustLine Certified provider of regular and on-demand childcare, as well as mentoring services for children.”
At the sentencing hearing, parents of victims read victim impact statements, and one parent described the heartbreak she feels over never meeting the child whom her son would be had he not been the victim of Matthew Zakrzewski’s sexual assault. According to Fox 59, parents blamed themselves for letting Zakrzewski into their homes and leaving him alone with their children.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer described Zakrzewski’s crimes as those of a monster, saying, “The sexual exploitation of children is meant to destroy the smallest of souls, and this monster disguised by smiles and giggles engaged in the most horrific and calculated manipulation to ensure he would continue to have unfettered access to what these parents cherish the most — their children.”
According to NBC News, Zakrzewski was unapologetic about the crimes he had been convicted of, telling the court, “I prided myself on bringing smiles to your children and all the good times we shared were 100% genuine.” Zakrzewski was attempting to board an international flight when he was forced off the plane and arrested at a Laguna Beach airport, the outlet reports. Zakrzewski was ultimately convicted on every charge he faced.
Spitzer told Fox 59 about the trauma that Zakrzewski inflicted on these young boys, describing him as a predator wearing the mask of an angel, “These children will never know the people they were truly intended to be – because their childhoods were suddenly and inexplicably interrupted not by a wolf at the door, but by a predator masquerading as a Godsend.”
“These innocent little boys must bear a lifetime of trauma, and their parents will bear a lifetime of pain, knowing that they put their precious children in the arms of an animal because they believed who he said he was. We cannot undo the trauma inflicted so unnecessarily on these children, but we can do everything we can to help support these families as they try to put back together the broken pieces of their children.”
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November 20, 2023