A former pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk has been arrested on several sexual assault charges for allegedly abusing a then-17-year-old student a decade ago, between January and August of 2007.
42-year-old Cameron Giovanelli has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice, and fourth-degree sexual offense.
According to the police,the abuse started with unsolicited kissing and progressed from there. Giovanelli allegedly abused the girl in school offices on church grounds and other locations.
Police began investigating Giovanelli in May of 2018 after the alleged victim reported the abuse. A warrant was served on Monday, August 5 and Giovanelli turned himself in to police the next day.
Giovanelli was a pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church and school on the 7300 block of Manchester Road from 2003 through 2014. Police have said that they believe other victims are out there and have encouraged any others to call the Baltimore County Police Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3650.
Giovanelli has been released on his own recognizance. He faces up to 36 years in prison.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank – represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. Here is Aaron with some general information on the legal rights for those looking for a clergy sex abuse law firm:
Tragically, child sexual abuse is a widespread problem throughout many religious organizations, including the Baptist Church. Sexual predators are often found in positions of trust, including pastors in our communities. These predators exploit the trust of their communities and traumatize their victims when they commit these heinous crimes.
The victims of clergy sex abuse deserve justice. In some cases, these victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against their abuser. Sometimes, the church may also be sued due to failing to prevent or stop the abuse.
For example, a church might be considered liable for abuse by a pastor if the church had ignored complaints of sexual misconduct involving that pastor or failed to run a background check that could have revealed a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a pastor or another clergy member, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims lawyer.