• Police: Sexual predator was living with 2-year-old close to Casselberry park


    CASSELBERRY, Fla. - A sexual predator is off the streets Wednesday after authorities said he was caught living at a home with a 2-year-old child in Casselberry.

    John Bellestri, 49, was convicted in 1998 of attempted sexual battery on a 7-year-old Osceola County girl and has been on predator status ever since.

    Bellestri was arrested after he asked to have his food stamp card forwarded from his old address to his new home, which he hadn't yet registered. The home sits close to Secret Lake Park in Casselberry, where many other children play.

    "There are plenty of people who are walking their children along the sidewalk to the park," said parkgoer Nicki Damato.

    Investigators said Bellestri was living much closer to the park than he should have been.

    "It's very disturbing," said Casselberry police Capt. David del Rosso. "Anytime this comes about, we just wish we could get an earlier jump on this so we could prevent accidents from happening in the future."

    The mother of the 2-year-old told Channel 9 that Bellestri was dishonest with her and her husband.

    Bellestri's bond has been set at $3,200. If he can post bond, he'll have to register at a different address.

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