- (Photo: ABC 7)
A California pastor has been accused of keeping two teenage runaways in his San Ramon church and having an unlawful sexual relationship with one of them.
Hyo Bin Im, 33, who is listed as the English ministry pastor at Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church on the church's website, was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and child concealment.
Authorities claim that Im kept two teenage females in his church and home in San Ramon and that he met at least one of them through the Salvation Army Korean Corps in San Francisco. According to San Ramon Police Lt. Tom LaRocque, the two girls had been missing from San Mateo County since the beginning of January.
Police said they also found evidence of the alleged sexual relationship at his home.
They also charged Im with animal cruelty and claimed that they had found evidence at his home suggesting that he was responsible for mistreating the dog badly enough that the pet was ultimately euthanized.
Jason Jeon, who has been the senior pastor at Contra Costa Korean Presbyterian Church since 2012, said that the charges against Im have "totally shocked" the congregation and left others "heartbroken."
"We don't know what's happening. We're hoping the truth will come out soon. We are praying for John and those girls," Jeon told KTVU.
In addition to his pastoral ministries, police say that Im says he is the founder of The Living Well Ministries, a nonprofit organization that works with emancipated orphans, the homeless and widows.
Im was taken to county jail Tuesday night, but later released on $180,000 bail.
The Christian Post's calls to the church were not answered.