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New Abuse Charges Against Former Aurora Gymnastics Coach

Michael Cardamone

Former Aurora gymnastics coach Michael Cardamone. (Credit: CBS)

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WHEATON, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) – A former Aurora gymnastics coach, who was cleared of sexual assault charges in 2008, is now facing new charges.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, new predatory sexual assault charges have been filed against Michael Cardamone.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

In addition, DuPage County prosecutors have reinstated a criminal sexual assault charge, which had been cleared by the Illinois Appellate Court three years ago.

The new charges are based on old complaints by the girls who were students at the American Institute of Gymnastics on Aurora’s far East Side.

A pre-trial hearing has been set for July 27, at which defense attorneys said they will offer a motion to dismiss all charges.

Cardamone’s second trial is set for April 13, 2012.

In response to the new charges, Cardamone said, “Today’s actions show the maliciousness and vindictiveness of the DuPage state’s attorney’s office.

“I had prayed a new state’s attorney would look at the evidence that proves without a doubt my innocence. Instead, it is evident Mr. (State’s Attorney Robert) Berlin is more interested in covering up the past mistakes of Mr. (former DuPage State’s Attorney Joe) Birkett than he is about seeking the truth.”

Cardamone was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 for fondling seven girls, ages 7 to 12, at the gymnasium, which was operated by his mother. Prosecutors accused Cardamone of inappropriately touching the girls during stretching exercises and in a private room at the institute, where he coached for nine years.

But Cardamone spent only three years in prison before the appellate court tossed his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Cardamone has long maintained his innocence and that sloppy police work and an overaggressive State’s Attorney’s office botched the criminal case.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.