Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Judge upholds sentence for Arcata molester: 18 years for ex-pastor who preyed on 2 adopted daughters

In making his ruling, Judge Bruce Watson said he stood by his original sentencing of Cardelli to 16 years in prison on counts of sexually abusing his two adopted daughters and two consecutive years in prison for attempting to dissuade one of the girls from testifying. - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard

Following his arrest in September 2010, the prosecution charged Cardelli with three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 years old, seven counts alleging there were multiple victims in the case, two counts of oral copulation with a child under 16, recurring sexual conduct with a victim under 14 and a special allegation of a victim under 14.

In December 2010, Cardelli was given explicit orders from the court to refrain from any contact with the pair of alleged minor victims in the case, including both phone and Internet contact.

Prosecutors argued in January 2011 that Cardelli had used a throw-away cell phone and a “false” Facebook page to contact the one of the victims.

During Cardelli's initial sentencing in August 2011, Watson said the man took advantage of a vulnerable victim, a girl he'd adopted at the age of 5 and who was 13 when the acts of molestation began. The judge said Cardelli then repeatedly attempted to dissuade the girl from cooperating in the case.

Standing by his previous comments, Watson said Monday the former pastor used his position as an adult, a father and a pastor to betray the trust and confidence of his daughter, his community and his congregation.

Under the terms of his sentencing, Cardelli will serve at least 85 percent of his 18-year prison sentence, will be put on supervised parole for 20 years after his release and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

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