NWGA Scanner | March 31st, 2022

Dalton man convicted of attempted child molestation of underage co-workers at Lake Winnepesaukah

A 38-year-old Dalton man has been convicted for the attempted molestation of four minor females that took place in July 2021. Judge Ralph Van Pelt sentenced Carlos Fenelli, of Dalton, Ga., to a total of 15 years, with the first four years to be served in prison. Fenelli will be required to register annually as a sex offender following his release from prison. Fenelli and the four minor victims were employed by Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park in the summer of 2021. The allegations came to light after one of the victims came forward and disclosed inappropriate touching and comments made to her by Fenelli, a security guard who was immediately terminated when Lake Winnepesaukah officials were informed of his behavior. The case was investigated by Clay Thompson with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office. During his investigation, three additional minors came forward. During the victims’ forensic interviews at the Children’s Advocacy Center, all four victims disclosed they had been touched inappropriately by Fenelli when they were working together. During an interview following his arrest, Fenelli admitted to being sexually attracted to several of the victims and engaging them in inappropriate conversations. The case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Kevin Baugh. Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Arnt praised the victims in this case for immediately coming forward and reporting these crimes. “The brave actions of these victims to come forward enabled us to stop this offender before he was able to do any greater harm to these or other girls.” DA Arnt also thanked the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Detective Clay Thompson and the Children’s Advocacy Center for their efforts in bringing this case together. He said the parents of one of the victims “thanked the District Attorney’s Office for everything we did and appreciated our team’s efforts to support them and their families.” A parent of another victim stated, “We are pleased with how quick and effectively this problem was solved in the Catoosa County legal system. We are disappointed Lake Winnie didn’t report these offenses to the police. Sex offenders should not be protected in that way. Ultimately, we are just glad it’s over.”