Crime & Courts

Charlotte minister sentenced for sexually abusing children

Orlando Augusto Caldera
Orlando Augusto Caldera Mecklenburg County jail

A former minister was sentenced to up to 21 years in prison this week for sexually assaulting six girls at an east Charlotte church.

Orlando Augusto Caldera, 65, was an associate pastor at Memorial United Methodist Church on Central Avenue. He served the Spanish-speaking population of the church.

Caldera pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sex offense and five counts of indecent liberties with a child, according to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.

Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans sentenced Caldera to a minimum 14 years in prison.

Caldera was arrested in August 2014 after two girls at a church gathering told their parents that Caldera had just kissed them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, prosecutors said. Four other girls later told police that Caldera had fondled them, prosecutors said.

Caldera served at the church for about five years. He had no prior criminal or civil record, according to a records search by the Observer.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak