A longtime Bay Area baseball coach accused of molesting two children pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in Contra Costa County Superior Court today. Orinda resident Joel Kaufman, 52, pleaded not guilty to four felony counts of performing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years old and one count each of performing lewd acts on a child between 14 and 15 and misdemeanor charges of child molestation and illegally filming someone, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. Kaufman was originally charged with four felonies and the two misdemeanors in connection with one victim, and now faces two additional felony charges after a second victim came forward, according to Deputy District Attorney Chad Mahalich. The Orinda man was first arrested last August for alleged child molestation but was released, according to Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee.
He then turned himself in to authorities in Martinez on March 22 after learning that the district attorney’s office filed charges against him, and was released the same day after posting $325,000 bail. Kaufman has held several youth baseball coaching jobs throughout the Bay Area during his career and is currently listed as the owner of Triple Play U.S.A., a batting cage facility for Bay Area high school students based in San Leandro. He coached baseball at several schools, including Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland from 1999 to 2005 and Palo Alto High School in 2006. Michael Markowitz, Kaufman’s attorney, said he received the first portion of the prosecution’s evidence in the case today and was unable to comment further. The defendant is scheduled to return to court in Martinez on May 23 to set future court hearings.
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