A longtime youth baseball coach throughout the Bay Area is now behind bars on child molestation charges, according to Contra Costa County jail records. Joel Kaufman, 52, was taken into custody in Martinez this morning after a warrant for his arrest was issued and six charges were filed against him in Contra Costa County Superior Court. Kaufman, an Orinda resident, was charged Wednesday with 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. If convicted on all charges, he could face more than a decade in prison, the prosecutor said. Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said Kaufman remains in custody this afternoon on $325,000 bail. Kaufman was first arrested on suspicion of molestation last August but was later released, Lee said. He is listed the owner of Triple Play USA, a batting cage business on Adams Avenue in San Leandro, 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 this week 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. Bowers also said no abuse was reported at the school during Kaufman’s tenure there.
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