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Teen’s Father Faces Charges From 2008 Incident

While Charles Berlinghoff appeared in court today on the 31-day disappearance of his teenage niece, new details have surfaced in a separate case against his brother Jacob Berlinghoff, who faces charges of sexual misconduct stemming from an alleged 2008 incident involving a minor.

An investigative report on Jacob Berlinghoff’s case alleges he made a teen drink alcohol as punishment, touched her inappropriately and threatened to shave her head as an apparent lesson against the dangers of drinking.

While his daughter was missing, Jacob Berlinghoff appeared on national television programs, was quoted in news reports and said he spoke daily with missing-child advocate Marc Klaas.

Jacob Berlinghoff now faces a felony charge of a lewd act with a child under 14 years, and misdemeanor charges of annoying or molesting a child and sexual battery.

He was arrested on Dec. 23 and released from Shasta County Jail a day later, after his $50,000 bail was posted. He faces a Jan. 31 arraignment date.

Jacob Berlinghoff’s brother, Charles Berlinghoff, appeared in Shasta County Superior Court Wednesday, where he was assigned a public defender and plead not guilty to almost 100 felony charges, including multiple counts of lewd acts with a minor, incest and oral copulation, stemming from his disappearance with his niece.

Shasta County Sheriff’s officials say Charles Berlinghoff and the teen spent time camping out, riding a freight train to Portland where they stayed in homeless facility, and eventually catching a ride to San Francisco. In San Francisco they were spotted by the teen’s adult cousin. Charles Berlinghoff was arrested and the teen taken into protective custody.

Charles Berlinghoff is being held in Shasta County jail in lieu of $1.6 million bail.

As for Jacob Berlinghoff, a sheriff’s investigation report points to an incident from September of 2008 in which a teen alleges that Berlinghoff provided her with alcohol and made her drink it as a punishment, threatened to shave her head, and inappropriately touched her breast and the inside of her thigh.

When the teen asked Jacob Berlinghoff what he was doing, the report alleges that he responded by saying “this is what happens when you drink.”

The teen is not being identified by A News Café because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime.

Friends and other family members of the teen interviewed in the sheriff’s report confirm that they were aware of the alleged incident prior to Jacob Berlinghoff’s daughter’s recent disappearance.

When questioned by investigators, Jacob Berlinghoff denied that he inappropriately touched the teen, the report says. Jacob Berlinghoff admitted he originally heard of the incident from the teen’s mother back in 2008, the report adds.

The report also states that after originally agreeing to meet with investigators to take a Computerized Voice Stress Analysis test on Dec. 16, Jacob Berlinghoff did not arrive for the test and did not return phone calls from sheriff’s detectives.

The report concludes that as a result of the investigation, the charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and annoying or molesting a child were requested because, “at the time of the (alleged) molestation the Victim was thirteen years of age and (investigators) suspect the molestation was done in a sexual nature based upon the circumstances and statement he made when he fondled the Victim’s breast.”

Note: The original version of this story stated that Charles Berlinghoff had entered no plea on Wednesday.

Jim Dyar is a news, arts and entertainment journalist for A News Cafe and the former arts and entertainment editor for the Record Searchlight’s D.A.T.E. section. Jim is also a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding. E-mail him at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Jim Dyar

is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com

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