FBI seeks coach suspected of molesting youths
Michael Leon Zeve disappeared six months ago -- the day before his trial on several charges was to begin.

May 16, 2002

IRVINE -- The FBI is searching for a former roller-hockey coach who disappeared six months ago, the day before his trial was to start on charges that he molested two players and a third youth.

Michael Leon Zeve, 27, was arrested in November 2000 after FBI agents searched his Irvine home and said they found child pornography and videos of Zeve molesting three teen-agers, Special Agent Mark Hunter said Wednesday.

The youths, identified from the tapes and interviewed by authorities, were plied with alcohol and molested at hotels and at Zeve's house, Hunter said.

Doug Jones, general manager of the Wayne Gretzky Roller Hockey Center, said Zeve, a volunteer, had not coached there in at least three years. The rink is cooperating with authorities, he said.

Zeve faces three counts of lewd acts upon a child and an allegation of continuous sexual abuse upon a child because the teens appear to age over the course of the tapes, Hunter said.

The three children appeared to be younger than 14, Hunter said. They were molested on at least three occasions, he said.

The arrest was not publicized. Hunter said authorities are counting on the public's help in finding Zeve, who sold computer hardware and software.

"He's my son, but I haven't seen him," Robert Zeve said from the home he shared with his son. "I don't know anything about him."

Zeve's former players and their parents said they didn't know the man authorities seek.

"It's too bad," said Kris Mungo, whose son Vince played on championship all-star squads for Zeve three years ago. "He was very dedicated ... he spent a lot of time with the kids. Never once did I have a question."

Anyone with information about Zeve's whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.