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Judge Drops New Sex Abuse Charges Against Gymnastics Coach

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Michael Cardamone

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

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WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — A DuPage County judge has dismissed felony sex abuse charges filed this spring against former gymnastics coach Michael Cardamone.

But as WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, prosecutors are not done with Cardamone.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Prosecutors said newly-obtained evidence led them to file the predatory criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse charges against him, relating to a young gymnast he once coached.

But Cardamone’s attorney, Ronald Menaker, told DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell that prosecutors were trying to drudge up old accusations that have been known for years, and only charged Cardamone because of his successful 2008 appeal.

The Daily Herald reported that Judge Fawell found that the new charges carried an “appearance of vindictiveness.”

Prosecutors had argued that the charges actually had been based on “new evidence,” the Daily Herald reported.

The original sexual abuse charges against Cardamone remain in place, with a new trial ordered. Cardamone is due in court on those charges in Sept. 2, and his new trial is set for April 13, 2012.

Cardamone was first arrested in 2002, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005 for fondling seven girls, ages 7 to 12, at the American Institute of Gymnastics in Aurora, 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.

He is out on bond and most recently has been working as an air-conditioner repairman, the Daily Herald reported.

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