Pastor says she faced sexual harassment from Orlando Health system chaplain



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County pastor said she had hopes to become a chaplain in the Orlando Health system.

She says those dreams were shattered after she claims she was repeatedly sexually harassed by a long-time chaplain.

Jackie Montgomery of New Faith Baptist Church said she might sue the health organization.

She said the chaplain made sexually charged comments on a regular basis and touched her inappropriately.

"It was traumatic. I'm still trying to recover from what happened to me in the program," Montgomery said.

Her attorney sent a demand letter to the health system which said the chaplain accused her of wearing clothes that were too tight and that this specifically turned him on.

He also allegedly encouraged her to seek a sexual partner outside her marriage.

She says she reported it to Orlando Health.

"He did not deny one allegation. He simply said he apologized. And he said, 'Thank you for being transparent,'" Montgomery said.

The chaplain taught Montgomery as part of a program through the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, which manages hospital chaplains for Orlando Health.

"These happen more often than people think. One of the reasons Ms. Montgomery wanted to bring this to the media's attention is because she wants to shine a light that's it's not OK for educators or supervisors to make these comments," attorney Thomas Luka said.

Orlando Health told Eyewitness News that the chaplain was suspended due to the allegations.

A spokesman went on to say it's a private employee issue and didn't comment further.

“We don’t comment on possible litigation or human resource issues, as you were advised on August 20.  Due to employee privacy concerns, no other information is available,” the spokesperson for Orlando Health said.

Montgomery also said she was fired from the program after her attorney sent a demand letter to Orlando Health.

Eyewitness News reached out to the college for a comment on the story but a spokesman declined to do so.