Ex-Pastor Faces More Child Abuse Charges in Calif

Mercury News
October 14, 2010

EUREKA, Calif.A former pastor previously accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in his care has pleaded not guilty to sex abuse charges involving a second child in Northern California.

Dino Cardelli, 49, entered his plea Wednesday after being charged with three additional counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, the Eureka Times-Standard reported.

The widower and foster parent already was charged with recurring sexual abuse of a girl who lived with him. In that case, he pleaded not guilty to four counts of child molestation.

Cardelli was pastor of Arcata's evangelical Calvary Chapel for 15 years. He resigned after he was arrested last month and released on bail.

Cardelli, a McKinleyville resident, was re-arrested Wednesday for investigation of violating a court order requiring him to stay away from his foster children.

Defense lawyer Mark Bruce told the Times-Standard he needed time to review the new charges before he could comment.

Investigators have interviewed at least three children who had been living with Cardelli. Two girls, one of whom was the subject of the new molestation charges, told authorities they saw Cardelli beat two other foster children who were mentally handicapped.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department started investigating Cardelli after the 13-year-old girl reported her alleged abuse at school

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