A Daly City pastor at a church in San Francisco will face trial for one count of child molestation, a San Mateo superior court judge ruled Thursday.
Venije Singkoh, 70, pleaded not guilty to three counts of child molestation, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. San Mateo Superior Court Judge Donald Ayoob ruled today that Singkoh would face only one count at trial.
Wagstaffe said the judge determined that two less serious allegations involving the pastor kissing young girls at the church on the cheek and one kiss on the lips didn’t fall under “lewd intent.”
Prosecutors said Singkoh is a pastor at the Indonesian Pentecostal Foursquare Church in San Francisco. On Feb. 7, a 9-year-old girl told her parents he molested her on multiple occasions over the past year by placing her on his lap and kissing her inappropriately.
Wagstaffe said the girl alleged he used his tongue while kissing her. The girl told her mother and father, who called a church meeting with the pastor, prosecutors said. Several other church members attended the meeting and confronted him as well.
The pastor reportedly told them it was an accident and denied the claims, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said Child Protective Services were notified and they in turn notified Daly City police. Singkoh is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 9 at 8:30 a.m. when the judge is expected to set a trial date. He is currently out of custody on a $100,000 bail bond.