• Central Florida priest accused of sexually abusing child in Pennsylvania

    By: Monique Valdes , Karen Parks


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - UPDATE: Wed, Sept 12 -

    The Berks County, Pa. District Attorney's office has cleared Reverend David C. Gillus of any wrongdoing after the accuser told detectives that she was not sexually abused. 

    “It is unfortunate that the accusation of child sexual abuse against Reverend Gillis was made public by the Diocese of Orlando before the outcome of this investigation could be determined," said District Attorney John T. Adam. "These types of investigations are very sensitive in nature."

    ORIGINAL STORY (Thu, Aug. 30):

    The Orlando diocese is speaking out after accusations that a reverend who worked at several Central Florida locations, sexually abused a minor in Pennsylvania.

    Allegations were made against father David C. Gillis last week.

    “I am sad that we are dealing with this,” said diocese of Orlando Carol Brinati.

    Read: Letter from Chancellor for Canonical Affairs

    Gillis worked at two Catholic high schools in Lakeland and Daytona Beach between 2005 and 2008.

    He most recently was a pastor at Church of our Savior in Cocoa Beach.

    Gillis has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an investigation.

    Read: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children, report says

    “As soon as we heard the information officially from the diocese of Allentown, we made arrangements yesterday to meet with father Gillis and inform him that his faculties were removed and that he could no longer minister in this diocese,” said Brinati.

    The allegations stem from an alleged incident while Gillis worked in the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The victim is now an adult.

    Gillis has served in four parishes in Central Florida since 2005, most recently as pastor of Church of our Savior in Cocoa Beach. He also worked at the school associated with the church. 

    Read: Man charged after Catholic priest reportedly assaulted, doused in wine at Delaware church

    “We have had no allegations against him during the time he has been here,” said Brinati. 

    The diocese gave little information about the allegations, but did say that Gillis’ background and fingerprints came back clean.

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