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No comment from Jacksonville pastor charged in Maryland sex abuse case

Attorney representing Cameron Giovanelli says client denies allegations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A Jacksonville pastor facing charges in the 2007 sexual abuse of a Maryland woman had no comment when News4Jax confronted him at an office building in Orange Park on Thursday morning.

Cameron Shane Giovanelli, 42, is facing two felony charges of sexual abuse of a minor and an additional 10 misdemeanor charges.

Giovanelli is out on bond. He is charged with sexually abusing Sarah Jackson in 2007.

The following conversation took place between News4Jax reporter Corley Peel and Giovanelli:

Peel: “My name is Corley, I’m with Channel 4. I was wondering if you would be willing to comment about the allegations against you?”
Giovanelli : “No my attorney has already made some comments.”
Peel: “Do you deny what happened?”
Giovanelli : “No comment.”
Peel: “Do you have anything to say to Sarah Jackson, what she’s been going through?“
Giovanelli : “No. You can talk to my attorney, Peter O’Neill.”

Jackson said she was a student at the Calvary Baptist Church in Maryland where Giovanelli was her pastor.

Jackson, who also babysat for Giovanelli while she was in high school, came forward in May 2018, saying the abuse began when she was 17 and carried on for several months.

RELATED: Jacksonville pastor charged in Maryland sexual abuse case

Stacey Shiflett, the current pastor at the Maryland church, said he’s furious knowing the church where Giovanneli has been working in Jacksonville, refuses to comment about his employment status.

“What kind of assurances can you provide to the families that come to your church or the parents that send their children to their church that they will be protected and shielded from possible sexual abuse when you will neither confirm nor deny that a man is still on the church’s payroll that has been indicted by a grand jury for multiple felonies and multiple misdemeanors?” Shiflett said.

The Immanuel Baptist Church website makes no mention of Giovanelli. He has his own website and he continues to update his blog about Christian living.

News4Jax spoke with Jackson, who said she’s not surprised Giovanelli refused to comment.

Giovanelli’s lawyer has previously stated his client denies the allegations against him.


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