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Youth minister charged with lewd conduct

From staff reports
Thursday April 5, 2001

A youth minister at a Westlake Village church has been charged with engaging in lewd contact with two teen-agers, authorities said Wednesday.

Timothy Bayne Bernstein, 40, was charged Tuesday with 10 counts of engaging in lewd conduct with two minors between 1987 and 1991, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Gina Satriano. One boy was between 14 and 15 at the time and the other was younger, she said.

Bernstein pleaded not guilty to the felony counts in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Malibu, she said. His bail was set at $500,000.

If convicted, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and eight months.

Bernstein was a volunteer at Calvary Community Church at the time of the alleged incidents and became a paid staff member in 1991, according to a church spokeswoman. She said he is director of youth ministry and that he is on administrative leave.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Detective Ronald Williams said he learned of the alleged acts Jan. 29. Williams works in the family crimes bureau.

According to Williams, a person who is mandated by law to report such acts contacted the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station. Williams said the alleged acts occurred in four jurisdictions but would not be more specific. The names of the teens were not released.

Bernstein turned himself in to the Lost Hills Station on March 30, after learning that police had issued a warrant, Williams said.

 
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