Home > Arcata California > Former Arcata pastor pleads guilty to a slew of child molestation charges

Former Arcata pastor pleads guilty to a slew of child molestation charges

[Humboldt County District Attorney Press Release]

On Monday, June 20, 2011, Dino Alfred Cardelli, 50, of McKinleyville, pled guilty to one count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor under 14 years of age, one count of attempting to dissuade a witness and 25 misdemeanor counts of violating a court order not to contact a witness. He also pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor annoying or molesting a child that involved a second victim.

Cardelli is due to appear mid July in front of Judge W. Bruce Watson to review the status of sentencing. He faces up to 18 years in the California Department of Corrections and will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel.

  1. Anonymous
    June 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Great plea bargain. The dude will get probation. What a way to save working for your county dole. If you think this is good you need help. This is pathetic.

  2. Anonymous
    June 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Ps I charge does not equal a slew. Do you work for the TS?

  3. lurch
    June 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    8:02 thinks 1+1+25=1?

  4. Mitch
    June 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    8:01 and other knee-jerk DA haters,

    You are complaining about a plea bargain that might result in 18 years in jail.

    Check out this September 2010 article by Ryan Burns at the North Coast Journal: http://www.northcoastjournal.com/news/2010/09/16/gods-lamentation/

    Tuesday afternoon, Cardelli pleaded not guilty to the charges. He’s being held on $750,000 bail at the Humboldt County jail, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24. If convicted on all nine counts he could face up to 16 years in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel.

  5. tra
    June 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Anonymous 8:01/8:02 seems to have a very severe reading comprehension problem, not to mention some pretty weak math skills.

    According to the story he plead guilty to 27 charges, and faces up to 18 years in prison. Sounds like the DA did his job, and did it well. If a judge looks at all that and somehow just gives the guy probation, that would be a travesty, and that judge should be removed from office. That being said, I think the actual chance of a judge only sentencing him to probation is about as likely as Anonymous 8:01/8:02 winning the MacArthur Genius Fellowship.

  6. Arcatawikileaks
    June 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Lets just remember that this guy is some sort of priest/pastor.
    It is NEVER the atheist.

    Just sayin’

  7. tra
    June 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    While it’s true that priests, pastors and other religionists do seem to be overrepresented among the scumbags who perpetrate these crimes, “NEVER” might be a wee bit too broad a claim, dontcha think? I suspect that in the whole history of child molestation, a few atheists might turn up somewhere along the line.

  8. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Are you kidding me, Wiki? This is an equal opportunity perversion. While it is always more upsetting to hear that a person who is entrusted with our youth or has power over people in some way has stooped to this level, it is certainly not limited to these types. Perhaps though, it is easier for those who are trusted and admired to coerce the adoring and innocent into their web than the average pervert can.

  9. Decline To State
    June 23, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I’m not at all religious but don’t blame the church for these outrages. If you want to find people with an unnatural desire for under-aged children you’ll find them where the children are. Schools and churches age easy targets.

  10. High Finance
    June 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Why does Judge Watson need until mid July to review the sentence ? It would take me just two seconds to throw the book at this pervert & give him the whole 18 years.

  11. Down the Road
    June 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Hopefully, he is at an age that he will die in prison.

  12. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

    That’s right, Decline to State. Sexual predators and pedophiles often pursue vocations and / or avocations which give them access to and power over children such as teachers, coaches, ministers, youth group leaders and medical personnel. This group also includes parents, step-parents and other family members. However, any organization which fails to act when notified they have a pedophile preying on children should share the blame and the punishment of the predator. Moving these monsters to other regions or countries and allowing them to continue their predation should be a crime punishable by imprisonment, not just lawsuits.

  13. June 23, 2011 at 8:03 am

    It would be great if all the child molesters were confined to churches, but sadly they are everywhere.

  14. humph
    June 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

    This is probably a reasonable outcome, but please keep in mind that he was facing 25 to life if he had been convicted on all charges, because there were two victims (that’s why they made the second vicitm a misdo 647.6, because if he pled to any kind of 288 felony 667.6 applies and it’s an indetermionate term). So while 18 years at 85% isn’t bad, he did get a substantial discount.

  15. skippy
    June 23, 2011 at 9:14 am

    From Donna Tam’s Times-Standard article today:
    “Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel said the law requires Cardelli to go through what is commonly referred to as a “psycho-sexual” evaluation for the court’s consideration prior to sentencing…

    “… the prosecution charged him 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…

    “…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 that Cardelli had used a throw-away cell phone and a “false” Facebook page to contact the one of the victims.

    “The next hearing in the case is set for July 18.”

  16. Bible Thumper
    June 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

    “And he[the angel] cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. …. Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    Calvary Chapel, like it’s mother Rome teaches “salvation in sin”. Just keep your sins confessed and you are saved. There is no power in the false gospel they teach. No power to save a man from his sins. As a result, just like the homosexual priests of Rome, the churches have become a habitation of devils.

    God is calling his people out of these fallen churches.

  17. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Why does Judge Watson need until mid July to review the sentence ? It would take me just two seconds to throw the book at this pervert & give him the whole 18 years.

    Well I think judges like to take more than two seconds to consider their decisions, and of course that’s generally a good thing.

    But I do agree 100% that this creep ought to get the whole 18 years.

  18. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:25 am

    This is probably a reasonable outcome, but please keep in mind that he was facing 25 to life if he had been convicted on all charges, because there were two victims (that’s why they made the second vicitm a misdo 647.6, because if he pled to any kind of 288 felony 667.6 applies and it’s an indetermionate term). So while 18 years at 85% isn’t bad, he did get a substantial discount.

    As with all guilty pleas, the advantage to The People is that it eliminates any chance, however slight, that he would escape conviction through some legal technicality, through some weakness in the witness testimony or other evidence, or some other factor that could, at least theoretically, have lead to him escaping punishment altogether, in what would have been a gross miscarriage of justice.

    Also, prosecutors often file the maximum charges that they possibly could, precisely so that when it comes time to discuss a guilty plea, there is more pressure on the defendant. And at that point the prosecutor often agrees to drop the charges that they might have had the hardest time proving at trial. So it’s not really fair to assume that otherwise every one of those charges would have resulted in a conviction and the maximum allowable sentence — there’s no guarantee of that, and indeed it often doesn’t work out that way.

    Finally, the guilty plea spares the victims from having to testify, be cross-examined, and generally having to re-live the abuse all over again. So sometimes the victim(s) preferences are also taken into account. I don’t know if that was the case here, but it’s another factor that should be kept in mind.

    Look, I’d much rather see this guy go to prison for longer than 18 years, but I do think that a sentence somewhere in that range seems to be a reasonable outcome, given the factors I’ve outlined above. Now if the judge sentences him to a prison term far short of the maximum, like just a couple of years or (very unlikely) just probation, I’ll be the first to agree that such an outcome would be a travesty.

    We’ll have to wait and see what happens during sentencing, but I suspect he’ll be going away for at least a decade, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the judge gives him the maximum, or something very close to it. I certainly hope so, since this kind of childhood sexual abuse can often have severe and negative effects on the victims and, even with the best therapy and support available, the negative effects can sometimes persist for decades, and sometimes for the rest of their life.

  19. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

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

    That is is a very serious matter, and hopefully the judge will take that into account in handing down the sentence.

  20. Dave Short
    June 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    All Preists should not be subjected to law and hold imunity to all charges. The Preists are Gods servants and there is no such thing as boy/girl. We are all Gods people.

  21. Kubla
    June 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    From today’s Times Standard:

    A Eureka man facing federal charges of producing and distributing child pornography waived his bail hearing Wednesday, opting instead to be transported to Virginia for prosecution.

    The hearing would have allowed a federal judge to decide if Cole Jack Machado, 25, would be released on his own recognizance or receive a reduced bail.

    According to the U.S. Marshals Office in Eureka, Machado chose to waive his right to the hearing and is now awaiting transportation. The marshal in charge of Machado’s transport was unavailable for comment.

    The arrest warrant for Machado, who was arrested earlier this month, was issued out of federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia. Humboldt County prosecutors charged Machado with possession of child pornography in July 2010.

    He faces a total of eight federal charges — two counts of production of child pornography, each of which carry a sentence of between 15 and 30 years in prison, and six counts of distribution of child pornography, each of which carry a prison sentence of between five and 20 years.

  22. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    If I were Machado, I’d want my prosecution for such crimes as far from home as possible to spare my family and friends the shame and embarrassment.

    Dave is short most of his brain cells. FFS!

  23. Arcatawikileaks
    June 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    TABLE 2

    Contrasts: Admitted Molesters vs. All American Men

    Admitted Child Molesters

    American Men

    Married or formerly married

    77%

    73%

    Some College

    46%

    49%

    High School only

    30%

    32%

    Working

    69%

    64%

    Religious

    93%

    93%

    Sources: The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study and the 1999 U.S. Census Statistical Abstract

    Note: All people in both groups were at least 25 years old.

  24. Arcatawikileaks
  25. Arcatawikileaks
    June 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    So the research says that in the USA 93% of the child molesters are in fact religious.

    93%

  26. tra
    June 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    It also says that 93% of American men in general are “religious.” In other words, according to those stats, being “religious” does not make one any more likely or any less likely to be a child molester.

  27. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Exactly, tra. I also bet that of those perverts who are religious, they include a higher percentage of zealots and extremist fundamentalist types than the typical religious population. I think religion and spiritual or personal beliefs is often used as an excuse for behaviors, so I see what wiki is getting at. I think there is a link there too.

  28. Down the Road
    June 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Hmmmmmm! Interesting as to why so many criminals on the run
    from other counties and states end up in Eureka.

  29. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    The guy pled guilty to 1 sex charge and a slew of midemeanors. They dismissed all the other sex charges and he’s eligible for probation. No reading comprehension problems.

  30. Plain Jane
    June 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    1 count of CONTINUOUS sexual abuse and 1 count of trying to dissuade a witness (2 serious felonies) and a bunch of misdemeanors for trying to contact a witness in violation of a court order using very devious means to avoid detection. Judge Watson isn’t going to give this monster probation.

  31. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Watson is a good dude.

  32. Anonymous
    June 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    1 ct of sexual abuse Jane is just that. It warms my heart that the misdemeanor “pile on” makes you feel better. The guy can now be on probation cause of a real dumb plea bargain so what’s new here? All I’m saying is that this doesn’t look ok. It is a bigger pass than the catholic church.

  33. humph
    June 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

    He’s technically eligible for probation, but he has to do a 90-day diagnostic at CDCR and there has to be a 288.1 psych evaluation. Given the contacts with the victim it is EXTREMELY unlikely that he will get probation. The 136.1 is not a serious felony unless there was force or threat, and I didn’t see that in the story, though I might have missed it. The value of all the misdos and the 136.1 is that no judge in California is going to grant probation with that conduct in the record. Again, he got a big discount, but it seems to me 18 years at 85% (because the 288.5 is a violent felony he has to serve 85% of whatever sentence he gets) is a reasonable outcome, especially given his age.

  34. Groan
    June 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Continuous sexual abuse of a child means prison. They don’t need any other felonies. That’s enough. OK, Anonymous? It wasn’t a dumb plea bargain. I suppose you’d rather see the victims have to testify at trial. That would be about as much fun as being molested.

  35. January 27, 2016 at 6:00 am

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