TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A former Dundalk pastor is charged with two felony counts of sex abuse of a minor and ten misdemeanor sex offense counts after being indicted in Baltimore County this week.
Cameron Giovanelli, 42, is accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old student in 2007, when he was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.
A hearing scheduled for Friday morning was canceled after the indictment filed this week detailed new charges against him.
The alleged victim, Sarah Jackson, wrote a blog post last year detailing her account of the abuse. Charging documents laid out abuse that started with texts and escalated to sex at the victim’s grandparents’ house.
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
Calvary Baptist’s current pastor, Stacey Shiflett, launched an internal review of the allegations after they came to light.
“The same day I found out she had some story to tell, I was on the phone with her saying, ‘I want to hear your story,'” Shiflett said. “(Giovanelli) was adamant to me, on the phone, that he did not do it. And, my words to him were, ‘I’m going to find out.’ And, he said, ‘I know you will.'”
Shiflett said he found the allegations credible.
Peter O’Neill, Giovanelli’s attorney, told WJZ Friday Giovanelli denies the allegations and “looks forward to present his version of what happened — or what didn’t happpen.”
Giovanelli was arrested and charged August 5. He was released on his own recognizance.
If found guilty, he faces up to 78 years in prison.
Baltimore County Police are urging anyone with information or who may be a victim themselves to come forward.