A Los Angeles man who served as a minister and music teacher at five churches in San Diego and Riverside counties pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of molesting two boys he mentored.
During his arraignment at the East County Regional Center in El Cajon, Jimmie Xray Robinson Jr., 47, denied multiple accusations of lewd and lascivious acts with minors.
Since he has two prior convictions under California’s “three strikes’’ law, Robinson faces life in prison if convicted of the child-molestation charges, Deputy District Attorney Genaro Ramirez said.
Members of a fugitive task force contacted Robinson while he was playing piano for a church service in the Stockton district of San Diego last Saturday, told him to accompany them outside and arrested him.
Last September, the El Cajon Police Department received a report alleging that Robinson had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old he boy he had been counseling after meeting him through his church work, ECPD Lt. Tim Henton said.
The molestation allegedly occurred at a home in the East County city, according to Henton.
The lead detective in the investigation eventually discovered that two similar accusations against the suspect had surfaced over the previous eight years, but had not led to criminal charges.
This month, DNA evidence obtained by police allegedly implicated Robinson in the El Cajon case, the lieutenant said. The suspect was booked on charges involving that alleged victim and one of the prior ones, a 15-year-old boy.
Investigations into the accusations of the third teen are ongoing.
The allegations reported by the three youths were “very similar,’' Henton said.
“It appears as though Robinson may have used his position in various churches to gain the trust of members and take advantage of adolescent boys,’' he said. “Because there are reports of sexual abuse dating back eight years, investigators believe other boys may have been victimized (but) have chosen not to come forward.’'
The alleged victims were involved in a mentoring program that Robinson - known as “Xray,’' his legal middle name, to the teens he counseled - conducted on his own, not through any of the congregations he worked with, the lieutenant said.
The youths who took part in the mentoring service often were “troubled’’ in their dealings with school and family, according to Henton.
According to police, the defendant ministered and taught music at the following houses of worship:
- Prince Chapel, 7517 Cuvier St., La Jolla;
- Christ Church San Diego, 1355 Fern St., South Park;
- Church of God, 456 Fifth Ave., Chula Vista;
- Grace Chapel, 28073 Diaz Road, Suite J, Temecula; and
- Unity Fellowship Church, 3437 University Ave., City Heights.
Robinson traveled from Los Angeles to the Riverside and San Diego areas on weekends to take part in his ministry work, Henton said.
The defendant’s prior convictions were for domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor said.
Judge Charles Ervin ordered Robinson held on $750,000 bail and scheduled a Feb. 9 preliminary hearing in the case.