• Central Florida priest cleared of sexual abuse accusations in Pennsylvania

    By: Kevin Williams


    CENTRAL FLORIDA - The Berks County, Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office has cleared the Rev. David C. Gillis of sexual abuse after an accuser told detectives that she was not sexually abused.

    In August, the Diocese of Orlando announced it was removing Gillis from his duties during the course of the investigation.

    “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."

    The allegations stemmed from an alleged incident while Gillis worked in the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The accuser, who recanted, is now an adult.

    Detectives also interviewed other individuals during their investigation and found no evidence to substantiate the allegation against Gillis, Adams said.

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

    The allegations were brought against Gillis in August, around the same time a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed hundreds of sexual abuse claims over the span of decades.

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