Hans Jorgen Kardel, September 2016

Kardel

The trial of a Santa Maria businessman accused of molesting young children was postponed Monday to Jan. 18 at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Hans Jorgen Kardel, 84, had his trial delayed a second time, as the case waits for another trial to conclude in the same courtroom, according to the county District Attorney's Office. 

Kardel faces a slew of felony child sex charges, including oral copulation, sexual penetration with a child under the ages of 10 and 14, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, lewd/lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14 and attempting to dissuade a witness. 

He also faces a special enhancement of allegedly committing the offenses with more than one child, according to the felony complaint. Records indicate that both children were family relatives, and were under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged events, which reportedly began in 2005. 

Incidents were also reported in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. A criminal protective order was issued for Kardel by the victim's family, according to court records. 

Kardel pleaded not guilty in February 2016.

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Jury selection was underway last November, but postponed due to the unavailability of a defense witness. 

Kardel served as president of the Hejls Minde branch of the Dania Lodge of Solvang in the past, but no longer owns the Santa Maria company he founded, Kardel Insurance Services Inc., which is currently under new management.

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210

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