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Former Dundalk pastor charged with sexual abuse of minor

Posted at 1:50 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 13:55:29-04

DUNDALK, Md. — A former Dundalk pastor has been arrested on charges stating that he sexually abused a teenager on church grounds in Baltimore County in 2007.

According to charging documents, the victim disclosed that between January 2007 and August 2007, she was sexually abused by Cameron Shane Giovanelli, who was her pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk.

Giovanelli was pastor there from 2003 through 2014.

The victim told police that during her senior year of school, Giovanelli began texting her which she thought was strange as previous communication with the pastor had been through his wife, phone call or at the church.

She told police that on Black Friday in 2006, Giovanelli sent her a "flirty text." She knew that at the time the relationship was "odd" or "inappropriate", so the victim hid her phone from her parents. She said that Giovanelli continued to text her, telling her about his first kiss and at one point asking her if she had been kissed before.

The victim continued, saying that later in the year her family attended a Christmas Eve Dinner with the Giovanelli's and that following this event he began texting her that he wanted to kiss her.

According to the victim, the first physical incident between her and Giovanelli was on her first day of school following Christmas break when she was pulled out of class by Giovanelli, brought to the upstairs office and he proceeded to teach her how to kiss.

While upstairs, the victim said she had her back against the wall and Giovanelli kissed her for several minutes. She stated that she "was shaking really bad, felt numb and her adrenaline was flowing because she was scared."

She then returned to class.

Later that same day, the victim told police that Giovanelli called her out of class again to the same office and kissed her.

The victim told police that she and Giovanelli meeting during the school day became an "everyday thing" and as the "relationship" progressed, certain signals or codes were developed for them to know if they could meet, talk or text.

The abuse of the victim progressed from kissing to oral sex. She said that at one point another individual confronted Giovanelli saying that he knew that "whatever is going on" between them needs to stop.

Following that incident, their "relationship" ended according to charging documents.

Giovanelli now resides in Orange Park, Florida and is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice, and 4th degree sexual offense stemming from illegal sexual contact he had with a student at the school between January and August of 2007.

Based on information provided by the victim, police believe it is likely there are additional victims who were abused by Giovanelli during his time as pastor at the church and school located in the 7300 block of Manchester Road.

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.