A former girls softball coach from Nipomo was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of child molestation after a young woman accused him of six years of abuse beginning when she was 12 years old.
The Sheriff’s Office was releasing little information Wednesday but said in a news release that the arrested man is a former coach of a South County girls 12-and-under recreational softball team.
The Sheriff’s Office said that on Tuesday, an 18-year-old woman contacted deputies to report that she had been molested since the age of 12 until May of this year.
After launching an investigation, detectives with the Sheriff’s Sex Crimes Unit arrested Robert John Bergner, 51, at his home in the 900 block of Primavera Lane in Nipomo.
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He was booked on suspicion of sexual penetration of a minor under 14 with a foreign object, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation with a person under 18 and rape by force or fear.
A publicist for a Santa Maria league said he was informed by his board of directors that Bergner was formerly a coach for the Nipomo Youth Softball League. Emails and phone calls to that league’s six administrators were not returned.
Several coaches and presidents of various South San Luis Obispo County softball leagues did not recognize Bergner’s name.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said the investigation remained ongoing Wednesday and could not comment further on the case.
On his Facebook page, Bergner listed himself as co-owner of Nipomo-based Onsite Construction & Engineering. An employee there on Wednesday afternoon said Bergner had not worked at the business for at least a year and is not an owner.
Calls to Bergner’s residence were not answered.
As of Wednesday afternoon, he remained in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
The investigation remained ongoing Wednesday, but anyone with possible information about the case is asked to call sheriff’s detectives at 781-4500.