Brevard County pastor accused of molesting teenage girl freed from jail

by: Melonie Holt, WFTV Web Staff Updated:

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Palm Bay pastor and principal has been arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child, Channel 9’s Melonie Holt has learned. 

The arrest was part of a 10-month investigation after the allegations against Samuel Vidal, 40, were reported to Palm Bay police last April, investigators said.

"There's no words, especially when you know that person," a parent said.

A 15-year-old girl who attended Restoration Christian School in Palm Bay said Vidal fondled her, investigators said. The teenager told an adult at the school and her parents, who contacted authorities. The school has since been closed.

"We had to bring it from nothing to something, enough for probable cause to have a judge sign an arrest warrant," said Palm Bay police  Lt. Mike Bandish.

Vidal was removed from his position at the Christian school, but Eyewitness News has learned that he’s started a new school and is a principal at Overcomers Academy.

"(It's) very concerning. Again, he's under these charges that are pending, but he's still around kids. It makes you wonder if there are other victims," said a parent who didn't want to be identified.

Police said at this point, there haven't been any additional complaints from anyone.

"We're going to look at everything that comes our way to make sure there are no other victims out there," said Bandish.

Vidal was freed from jail early Thursday after paying bail.

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