A San Ramon youth pastor has been arrested after allegedly hiding two 17-year-old runaways at his home and having a sexual relationship with one of them, police said today. Hyo Bin Im, 33, also known as Pastor John Hyobin at the Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church in San Ramon, was arrested last Wednesday, police said. He was charged in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Tuesday with unlawful sexual intercourse, child concealment and animal cruelty, according to the district attorney’s office.
Im was taken to county jail in Martinez and later released on $180,000 bail. San Ramon police Lt. Tom LaRocque said Im was housing two 17-year-old girls who were reported missing from San Mateo County around the beginning of the year. The youth pastor first met the girls at the San Francisco Salvation Army Korean Corps in 2010, LaRocque said. Police said they found evidence at the home that the suspect had a sexual relationship with one of the teens.
LaRocque said investigators also found a small dog at the home suffering from a broken femur as well as prior injuries believed to have been inflicted by Im. The injuries were so severe that the dog had to be euthanized, he said. Investigators said Im claims to be affiliated with The Living Well Ministries, which police said is an alleged nonprofit Im created to assist widows, the homeless and emancipated orphans.
He has worked at the Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church since 2012, according to Jason Jeon, the church’s senior pastor. Jeon said the church is “totally shocked” and “heartbroken” to hear about the charges against Im. “We don’t know what’s happening,” he said. “We’re hoping the truth will come out soon. We are praying for John and those girls.” Police are investigating the possibility that Im may have victimized other youths. Any additional victims or anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Ramon police Detective Rob Ransom (925) 973-2715.
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