Photo: Brandon Jacob Nease
Thanks to a victim stepping forth, an Orange County drama and dance teacher’s sexual assault against a child has come to light. The suspect, Brandon Jacob Nease of Orange posted $100 000 bail on January 23, 2019, a day after his arrest by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The 25-year-old Nease was released from custody at that time.
Nease faces charges of felony child molestation, and has a pending court date.
The multiple lewd acts that Nease committed against the male victim, who was 13 years old when the assaults began in 2011, and the fact that Nease had been employed in positions involving children since 2008 has led investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to believe that there may be additional victims.
From mid-2017 until his January 22, 2019, arrest, Brandon Nease was a drama teacher at Costa Mesa High School. Starting in 2013, he taught dance at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Tustin and in Fountain Valley. From 2015 to 2017, Musical Theatre West in Long Beach employed him as education and outreach co-ordinator. Nease had also been, from 2012 to 2015, a dance specialist at Camp James in Newport Beach.
From 2008 to 2016, Musical Theater Village in the Irvine Spectrum employed him as a choreographer and director. In all of his roles as a dance instructor, Nease worked closely with children, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a media statement.
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District had placed Nease on administrative leave amid the ongoing investigation, the LA Times said. And while it remained unclear where Nease had met the boy victim, the victim said that it was at a place other than the high school in Costa Mesa, various Southern California media outlets said.
Police investigators welcome any additional information or identification of further victims by calling the Special Victims Detail at (714) 647-7419 or, anonymously, Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.