San Bernardino police arrest traveling carnival worker, say he used job to find child sex abuse victims – Press Enterprise

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Authorities arrested a man who worked for traveling carnivals and allegedly used that job to build relationships with women to sexually assault their children, the San Bernardino Police Department said.

A police statement said that on Oct. 25, the department investigated a victim’s sexual abuse allegation and arrested a suspect, James Donnelly, who according to jail logs is 58.

Authorities discovered two additional victims, a man and a woman, who reported they were sexually abused by Donnelly for over seven years, starting at the age of 10, the police statement said.

Jail logs showed Donnelly was arrested Dec. 22. Police said he was arrested at a Southern California fairground setting up for a New Year’s Eve festival.

Prosecutors charged Donnelly in San Bernardino County Superior Court with eight counts alleging child sex abuse, including alleged offenses with children  under the age of 14 and 10 years of age. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Donnelly was in custody on $1 million bail Wednesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15.

Donnelly worked for traveling carnivals for the past 30 years, traveling from California to Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado, the police statement said.

SBPD’s statement said Donnelly built relationships with women who lived near the carnivals that allowed him to have access to children who he allegedly sexually assaulted.

“Due to the carnival traveling to multiple states, investigators want to ensure there are no additional victims,” said the police statement, noting investigators are seeking information from the public about Donnelly.

Police said that anyone with information regarding Donnelly can contact Detective A. Madrigal at or 909-384-5631.

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