DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — A former pastor at a baptist church in Dundalk has been charged with a number of sexual assault charges stemming from a case involving a then-17-year-old student.
The abuse spanned between January and August 2007, police said.
Police believe there may be other victims and are hoping they will come forward.
Cameron Shane Giovanelli, 42, now lives in Orange Park, Florida. He is charged with the sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice, and fourth-degree sexual offense stemming from the illegal sexual contact he had with a student at the Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk.
Police said it began with unsolicited kissing and progressed, happening nearly daily either within school offices on church property or other locations.
An investigation began in May 2018 when the victim reported the abuse to police. After the investigation was complete, an arrest warrant was served on Monday and Giovanelli voluntarily turned himself in to police Tuesday.
He was released on his own recognizance at an initial bail hearing under the condition he has no contact with any minor.
The then-17-year-old victim tweeted after he was arrested:
I have cried. I have prayed. I have watched my character, integrity and my family be shredded for speaking up.
Today, God's timing was revealed. Today, Cameron Giovanelli was arrested for sexually abusing me in high school.
— Sarah Jackson (@Mrs_Triple8) August 6, 2019
Police believe there are more victims who were abused by Giovanelli during his time as a pastor at the church and school, which is located in the 7300 block of Manchester Road.
He was a pastor there from 2003 through 2014.
Stacey Shiflett succeeded Giovanelli as Calvary Baptist Pastor.
“[Giovanelli] was adamant to me, on the phone, that he did not do it,” Shiflett said. “And, my words to him were, ‘I’m going to find out.’ And, he said, ‘I know you will.’”
Shiflett immediately went public with results of an internal review.
“The allegations were credible,” Shiflett said in a Facebook video last year. “The woman who told the story was credible. And we have cooperated much, not all, but much of her story.“
Giovanelli faces up to 36 years in prison. He has been released on his own recognizance.
Anyone who may have additional information or was victimized by Giovanelli is encouraged to contact detectives from the Baltimore County Police Crimes Against Children Unit by calling 410-853-3650.