REDWOOD CITY -- A Daly City pastor made his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon to face accusations that he had inappropriate contact with a 9-year-old member of his congregation.
Ventje Cornelis Singkoh was charged Wednesday with three counts of felony child molestation after a 9-year-old girl told her parents the pastor had sat her on his lap on multiple occasions and kissed her inappropriately, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said. The 69-year-old man did not enter a plea at the scheduled arraignment because the court was unable to provide an Indonesian interpreter.
The young member of San Francisco's Indonesian Pentecostal Foursquare Church didn't report the misconduct to her mother and father until it had been occurring for over a year, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. The victim said the molestation began in January of 2013, with the last incident occurring Feb. 7 of this year.
According to Wagstaffe, church officials held a meeting with several church members, the victim's parents and Singkoh, who denied the misconduct and deemed the behavior "an accident." Clergy members notified Child Protective Services, who called Daly City police when they learned some of the alleged incidents had occurred in his home.
Church officials did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.
In addition to his work at the Indonesian Pentecostal Foursquare Church at 18th Avenue and Geary Boulevard in San Francisco, Singkoh has also held services at the Golden Gate Christian Church at 378 18th Avenue, the First Presbyterian Church at 195 Colfax Street in Concord and at his home in Daly City, police Sgt. Harold Rolfes said.
Anyone who believes they have information about additional misconduct is asked to contact Daly City police Detective Ron Harrison at 650-991-8175.
Singkoh will return to court for his arraignment Aug. 19, officials said. He remains in custody on $300,000 bail.
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