Baseball Coach Charged With Molestation Out on Bail

Joel Kaufman was released on bail Friday afternoon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Josh Keppel
    Joel Kaufman was released on $325,000 bail Friday afternoon.

    A longtime youth baseball coach throughout the Bay Area is free on  bail after turning himself in to authorities in Martinez this morning 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.

    Bay Area Baseball Coach Charged With Molestation

    [BAY] Bay Area Baseball Coach Charged With Molestation
    A longtime Bay Area baseball coach - Joel Kauffman of Orinda - has been charged with molesting one teen boy and secretly filming another in a bathroom, prosecutors said on Wednesday. It is unclear if these boys played baseball for him. George Kiriyama reports.

     

    Deputy District Attorney Chad Mahalich said earlier in the day if the coach was able to post bail, his arraignment might be a ways off in the future. Mahalich would not comment whether the thought the coach was a flight risk, or if he would ask for a higher bail. He only said that he is continuing to "investigate" the situation.

    Kaufman, 52, of Orinda, who previously coached at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland and Palo Alto High School, is charged with six felonies and three misdemeanors.

    Kaufman was the head coach of the California Smoke, a premier traveling club for high school-age boys based in San Jose whose players often go on to play on college teams.

    One mother of a player on that team, who didn't want to be identified, said in a previous interview that the boys feel violated even though she isn't aware that anyone on the team was molested. She always thought Kaufman was an "odd bird," but never capable of what he is being charged with.

    Its players in 2012 came from high schools in Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

    Kaufman is also the owner and operator of Triple Play U.S.A., a batting cage facility in San Leandro, authorities said. He coached varsity baseball at Bishop O'Dowd from 1999 to 2005. He next coached at Palo Alto High for the 2006 season.

    Police first arrested Kaufman in August but charges weren't filed, and within days Kaufman attempted suicide in a Monterey hotel room, according to police.

    Prosecutors say the crimes stem from September 2005 to June 2012. During that time period, Kaufman is accused of drugging the boy with an unknown substance, prosecutors said.

    As to allegations involving a second victim, Kaufman is charged with one misdemeanor count of using a concealed video camera to secretly film the teen boy in a bathroom in a state of undress. The second victim was identified after officers searched Kaufman's home and discovered the footage of the recording, said Orinda police Sgt. Neil Rafanan.

    Authorities are not releasing how Kaufman knew the boys including whether they played baseball for him, to protect their anonymity. Both police and prosecutors said they suspect there are more victims.

    Anyone with information on the case can call Rafanan or Detective Travis Dennison at 925-254-6820.
     

    NBC Bay Area reporters Jodi Hernandez, Christie Smith and George Kiriyama contributed to this report.