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Bay Area Baseball Coach Accused Of Child Molestation Out On Bail

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Joel Kaufman

Joel Kaufman (Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office)

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MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – A longtime youth baseball coach throughout the Bay Area is free on bail Friday after turning himself in to authorities in Martinez on child molestation charges.

Joel Kaufman, 52, posted $325,000 bail and walked out of the Martinez Detention Facility Friday afternoon, about five hours after arriving at the jail. He surrendered at the jail around 11 a.m., two days after a warrant was issued for his arrest and six charges were filed against him in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

The charges include two counts of performing lewd acts on a child under 14, and one count each of performing lewd acts on a child between 14 and 15 and penetration of a drugged or intoxicated person, Deputy District Attorney Chad Mahalich said.

Kaufman also faces misdemeanor charges of child molestation and unlawfully filming or videotaping someone, Mahalich said.

The prosecutor said Kaufman could face more than 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Michael Markowitz, Kaufman’s attorney, said his client was out of the Bay Area when the warrant was issued and was unable to turn himself in earlier.

Markowitz declined to comment on the case, saying he had not yet reviewed the prosecution’s evidence.

Kaufman also had no comment on the charges against him Friday afternoon as he walked through the jail parking lot in Martinez.

“You’ll have comments in a few weeks,” he told reporters outside of the jail.

The Orinda man was first arrested on suspicion of molestation last August but was later released, according to Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee.

The 52-year-old is listed as the owner of the San Leandro batting cages Triple Play USA on Adams Avenue and as the manager of the California Smoke, a Bay Area-based baseball club for high school students.

Among other baseball coaching jobs he has held over the years, Kaufman worked as a part-time baseball coach at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland from 1999 to 2005.

Archdiocese of Oakland spokesman Mike Brown said Wednesday that no incidents of abuse were ever reported during Kaufman’s time at the school.

In 2006, he worked as a baseball coach at Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto Unified School District Superintendent Scott Bowers said. He also said no abuse was reported at the school during Kaufman’s tenure there.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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