Former Arcata Pastor Faces Three New Sex Charges

By John Driscoll
The Times-Standard
October 14, 2010

Prosecutors filed new felony sex abuse charges involving a second victim against a former Arcata pastor in Humboldt County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Dino Cardelli, 49, of McKinleyville now faces three additional charges of committing a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14 years old, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Cardelli was first arrested on Sept. 9 and charged with one count of recurring sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and two counts of oral copulation with a minor. He pleaded not guilty to those charges on Sept. 14.

Cardelli was also arrested again on Wednesday for allegedly violating a court protective order, according to Humboldt County District Attorney Investigator Jack Bernstein.

Initially, the first alleged victim, Jane Doe 1, was believed to be the only victim in the case.

The investigation began when the girl reportedly told school staff that she'd had a sexual relationship with Cardelli beginning when she was 13. After Cardelli's arrest, the then-pastor of Calvary Chapel in Arcata admitted having the sexual relationship with the girl, according to court documents. He resigned shortly afterward.

Cardelli was jailed on $750,000 bail, but posted bail later after it was reduced to $250,000. He appeared in court Wednesday wearing a suit and tie with some members of his family. A preliminary hearing on the initial four charges was put off until Nov. 3 so Cardelli's defense attorney Mark Bruce could review the new complaint and evidence. Bruce had no comment on the new charges in court.

Investigators have interviewed at least three children that had been living with the former pastor, according to court documents. Two children, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3, told investigators that they'd witnessed Cardelli routinely beat two mentally handicapped children in his care.

It's unclear if Jane Doe 2 is the second alleged victim the new lewd and lascivious act charges are in reference to.

Investigators subpoenaed MySpace records on Oct. 12 which are believed to be related to the second alleged victim.

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