Tehachapi activist accused of sex with boys

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Kern County deputies have arrested a Tehachapi activist accused of sex with two boys under 16 years of age.

Steven Vogel, 26, was arrested Tuesday and booked into Kern County jail on suspicion of oral copulation with a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child and other offenses.

"He made contact with these juveniles on a social network site," said Kern County Sgt. Douglas Wilson. "He met them, and that's when the sexual activity took place, each individually."

Vogel serves as the first president of the Tehachapi Anti-Bullying Coalition, according to the group's website. His online bio also states he's involved in the Arts, Science & Technology Committee of Tehachapi and Have a Heart Humane Society.

Eyewitness News contacted the Tehachapi Anti-Bullying Coalition on Wednesday, and Vice President Evalene S. Campbell-Best said Vogel is no longer with the group. She declined to comment further on the matter.

A spokesman for the Arts, Science & Technology Committee of Tehachapi also said Vogel is not associated with his group.

"It is imperative that we as a community develop partnerships in an attempt to prevent the ostracization of our young people from their peers," Vogel wrote in his Tehachapi Anti-Bullying Coalition website bio. "I have learned that each person, young and old alike, has a story to tell and that we cannot judge a person simply because of our initial perceptions!"

Vogel also ran as a candidate for the Tehachapi Unified School District Board of Trustees in November. He was not elected.

The sheriff's office didn't say when the alleged sex acts took place.

Kern County Superior Court records show Vogel pleaded no contest in 2010 to a charge of furnishing a minor with tobacco and smoking paraphernalia. In 2007, Vogel was charged with grand theft property, but that was later dismissed.

The case is similar to that of another Tehachapi man, Shane Reed.

Reed, a Tehachapi City Council member and Kern County firefighter, was convicted twice of having sex with underage boys. He also met them online on social network sites.

Bail for Vogel was set at $200,000.