SANTA CRUZ -- Dylan David Greiner admitted to having an addiction to child porn in an apology letter written during a police interview, a witness testified Friday during a preliminary hearing.
Greiner, a 38-year-old Santa Cruz surf instructor accused of child molestation and child pornography among other charges, was in court Friday for a preliminary examination to determine if there was enough evidence to go to trial.
In a more than four-hour preliminary examination, testimony was heard from three Santa Cruz police officers and one Santa Cruz County District Attorney investigator.
Santa Cruz police detective David Pawlak described talking with Greiner Aug. 16 when investigators served a search warrant at Greiner's home and seized computers, cameras, cell phones and hard drives. Investigators found videos on Greiner's computer showing young girls undressing in a room at the surf school he owned.
Greiner was reluctant to talk with investigators at the beginning of the search but ultimately decided to talk with them, Pawlak said.
Pawlak read an apology letter Greiner wrote to both victims during an interview with police expressing how horrible and sorry he felt for betraying their trust.
"I have apologized to the people of the city of Santa Cruz who I have let down," Greiner wrote.
He also wrote that his behavior was an addiction that needed treatment.
Greiner wrote that he "was somewhat relieved this happened because I no longer have to live a lie and keep it a secret."
Officer Ruben Badeo described how one of the two victims initially called police to report Greiner.
She met Greiner when she was 14 in 2010 after her parents bought her surf lessons from Greiner's surf school, Badeo said.
They went to the Garden of Eden swimming hole near Felton. The same day, the victim had burrs in her foot and Greiner removed them and licked her toes, Badeo said.
There were two other instances where the victim encountered Greiner, Badeo said. Once at Natural State Bridges where he hugged her "grabbed her butt and held onto it for a while," Badeo said. The second time was when she was 15 and she was sunbathing and he sat on her back and buttocks to massage and rub against her, Badeo said.
But during the instances, Greiner had no skin-to-skin contact with the victim's breasts, butt or genitalia, Badeo said when questioned by Greiner's attorney, Kellin Cooper.
"What we're talking about is a series of incidents where he offered her a massage," Cooper said.
Badeo testified Greiner gave the victim a computer hard drive containing more than 600 photographs, some of which showed her clothed private areas.
But when questioned by Cooper, Badeo said that most of the photos on the hard drive were not close ups of her private areas.
Greiner's actions, though inappropriate, were less egregious offenses, Cooper argued in court.
Judge Volkmann ruled that there was sufficient evidence to hold Greiner on 23 of the 29 charges. Two additional felony charges of distributing child pornography were changed to misdemeanors. Four felony charges related to child pornography will be addressed in a hearing Jan. 15.
Prosecutor Steve Moore said he was satisfied with the ruling.
"He was held to answer on every count so we were very happy with the outcome of the case," Moore said.
If convicted of the charges, he faces 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Follow Sentinel reporter Calvin Men at Twitter.com/calvinmenatwork
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