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Surf school owner arrested on child sex charges

The owner of a popular Santa Cruz surfing school is behind bars after police said he secretly recorded video of young girls changing in the school’s dressing rooms and pursued “inappropriate relationships” with minors.

Dylan Greiner was arrested late Friday after police served search warrants at his Santa Cruz home and at the Santa Cruz Surf School, his business.

During the searches, detectives found videos of girls changing in the dressing rooms of the surf school, said police.

Police said a computer seized during the search contained secret videos showing young girls on the beach, some as young as eight years old.

Santa Cruz Deputy Chief Steve Clark said in a statement:

“Detectives uncovered a video collection where Mr. Greiner secretly recorded young girls changing into wetsuits in the dressing rooms at his business.  They also uncovered a multitude of photographs and other video secretly recorded by Mr. Greiner where he purposely focused on breasts, buttocks and genitalia of young girls.”

Besides the photos and videos, police said the 38-year-old Greiner befriended young students at his school, offered them free surf lessons and jobs at his surf school, then allegedly made “inappropriate” sexual advances toward them.

Two of these victims, said Clark, were 13 and 14.

After his arrest, Greiner was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with children. He is currently held on $500,000 bail.

During his interview, police said Greiner admitted to the above actions and has written a letter of apology to the two known victims and the community.

Police said they are trying to determine if more underage girls have been victimized. Clark said additional charges are expected to be filed.

The surf school Greiner operates provides its lessons at Cowell Beach, a popular surfing spot for beginning surfers.

The school’s website boasts that it is:

“…the only surf school in Santa Cruz with a shop featuring a private bathroom, secure storage for your belongings, changing areas, outdoor shower and private parking.”

Private surfing lessons are offered for $120 an hour, or group lessons for $90 for two hours.

A call to the phone listing on the school’s website was directed to a cell phone with a recording by a person identifying himself as Dylan. The message advised callers to leave a message or sign up for surfing classes online.

A message left on the phone late Saturday seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Greiner’s arrest was the second sex-related arrest in two days by Santa Cruz police of an adult allegedly involved with minors.

In a separate bizarre case, police arrested Walter Gafvert III on Wednesday on suspicion of possessing child pornography.  Investigators said after the 48-year-old Gafvert was brought into police headquarters, he allegedly continued to download child pornography onto his cellphone.

Gafvert on Friday pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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