SoCal carnival worker accused of child sex abuse; police search for possible victims


SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) — The San Bernardino Police Department has identified a 60-year-old carnival worker accused of sexually abusing children, and now, investigators believe there may be more victims.

James Donnelly was arrested on Dec. 23 at a Southern California fairground that was setting up for a New Year’s Eve festival.

According to police, the investigation into Donnelly began on Oct. 25 when officers responded to a victim’s home regarding a sexual abuse allegation. They learned the victim was sexually assaulted by Donnelly.

“After further investigation, two more victims, both male and female, were discovered and reported crimes against James Donnelly that spanned over seven years,” said police in a press release.

Police said the victims were about 10 years old when the sexual abuse started and the abuse reportedly continued for years.

Donnelly has worked for traveling carnivals for the past 30 years, according to investigators.

They said the carnivals traveled from California to Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Colorado.

Police said throughout the years, Donnelly would meet women who lived near the carnivals and would stay with them, either for short or long periods of time.

“The relationship he built with these women allowed him to have access to children who he would sexually assault,” said police.

Investigators said due to the carnival traveling to multiple states, they want to ensure there are no additional victims.

Anyone with information regarding Donnelly is asked to contact the San Bernardino Police Department or Detective A. Madrigal at or 909-384-5631.

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