REDDING (AP) — A Northern California man who appealed for his missing teenage daughter’s return on national television has pleaded not guilty to molesting her.
The Redding Searchlight reports that 33-year-old Jacob Berlinghoff of Redding entered not guilty pleas Monday to a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 and misdemeanor counts of annoying a child and sexual battery. He is free on $50,000 bail.
The newspaper reports that shortly after the 15-year-old girl returned from a 31-day disappearance with her uncle last year, she accused her father of fondling her.
She said the 2008 incident was one of the reasons she fled.
Her uncle, 44-year-old Charles Berlinghoff, is facing nearly 100 sex abuse charges involving the teen. He remains jailed on $1.6 million bail.
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