Crime

Ex-Ferndale coach accused of raping three faces new alleged domestic violence charges

Bail set at $50,000 for ex-Ferndale coach accused of raping three

Bail was set at $50,000 for Dalton Jacob Cristelli, 20, a former part-time assistant wrestling coach for the Ferndale School District, on May 31, 2019, in Bellingham, Wash. He was arrested May 30 on suspicion of three counts of rape.
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Bail was set at $50,000 for Dalton Jacob Cristelli, 20, a former part-time assistant wrestling coach for the Ferndale School District, on May 31, 2019, in Bellingham, Wash. He was arrested May 30 on suspicion of three counts of rape.

A former part-time assistant wrestling coach for the Ferndale School District who is accused of raping three girls is facing new charges for alleged domestic violence incidents, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

Dalton Jacob Cristelli, 20, is charged with third-degree child rape, second-degree rape, third-degree rape, felony harassment with threats to kill (domestic violence), felony unlawful imprisonment (domestic violence) and two counts of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault (domestic violence), court records show.

Cristelli pleaded not guilty to all charges June 14, and his jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 23.

Cristelli was employed with the Ferndale School District from January to March 2019, according to Erin Vincent, communications coordinator for the Ferndale School District.

On May 30, the day Cristelli was arrested for the alleged sex offenses, officers with the Ferndale Police Department went to Cristelli’s Ferndale apartment to execute a search warrant. While there, officers spoke with a woman who was at Cristelli’s apartment, but their interview was cut short when Cristelli’s mother arrived, court records show.

The woman was later re-interviewed at a different time, court records state.

Alleged crimes

During the follow-up interview, an officer noted a hole in the bedroom door. The woman told officers that in early May, she and Cristelli attended a neighbor’s party and were drinking. Cristelli went to bed, but left his phone out and received a social media message from a girl the woman had never heard of. When the woman opened the message, it was a nude photograph of the girl, according to court records.

The woman told officers she then looked through Cristelli’s pictures and saw there were screenshots of a pornography website, and that Cristelli was paying to receive nude photographs from women in chat conversations on this website, court records state. The woman confronted Cristelli, told him she was leaving and called an Uber.

The woman told officers the situation “turned pretty violent,” and that Cristelli pinned her on the bed. Cristelli took the woman’s phone, locked himself in the bathroom and when he came out, started punching through the bedroom door, according to court records. He then assaulted the woman, records show. Nearby neighbors heard and came to the apartment to separate Cristelli and the woman, and she was able to leave.

The woman told officers that a similar situation happened in March. The woman texted Cristelli’s mother to tell her Cristelli was taking her home. The woman had confronted Cristelli earlier in the day about problems they were having, and when she went to collect her things, Cristelli threw them to the ground, court records show. Cristelli then assaulted the woman, records state.

The woman told officers that while Cristelli was giving her a ride home, he was “weaving in and out of traffic,” and going “approximately ‘110 miles’ an hour” on Interstate 5, court records state. While Cristelli was driving, he told the woman he “was going to ‘crash the car’ and ‘kill’ them both,” according to court records.

Cristelli was released June 4 from the Whatcom County Jail on $50,000 bail, court records show.

Resources

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: info@dvsas.org.

Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.

Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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