A prominent Florida pastor, who is also a popular right-wing talk show host, has been arrested on charges of sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl after he allegedly admitted to the allegations in a taped phone call, the Orlando Sentinel reported this week.
“You were always too damn mature for your own good and I have always loved you,” Rev. Bryan George Fulwider told his accuser in a recorded phone call, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “It wasn’t like I was off hunting people. It was a connection.”
Investigators said that Fulwider was arrested Wednesday after his victim filed a complaint with Winter Park police the day before alleging she had been sexually battered multiple times by Fulwider between 2005 and 2010 while he was a Senior Pastor at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park.
The victim, who has not been identified, told police she was a juvenile at the time.
Fulwider now faces 30 counts of sexual battery by a person who is in a position of custodial authority to a person less than 18 years of age. He remains in the Orange County Jail without bond.
The 59-year-old is a well-known personality in Central Florida. He is a self-described “Trump evangelical” and co-founder and host of the weekly radio show ‘Friends Talking Faith’ where he peddled right-wing propaganda with his co-hosts —the show has since gone on an indefinite hiatus following Fulwider’s arrest.
According to an arrest affidavit, most of the abuse happened on the church’s property, according to the Sentinel.
In the phone call, Fulwider told the victim if she was contacted she could say whatever she wanted but she could also say the allegations were false, adding, “that for me would be the best thing.”
Fulwider then told the victim she would be considered “quote the victim.”
“It would be as if I was a predator and you were victimized by me,” he said according to the documents, the Sentinel reports. “That was never ever where I was coming from.”
Police fear there could be more victims, but in the recorded phone call Fulwider allegedly told his victim she was the only one.
“They could line up every female related to the church and if everyone… except for one… told the absolute truth, they would have zero,” he said in the phone call, according to the affidavit.
“Do you mean me?” she asked.
“Well, yeah,” he said, according to the Sentinel.
Fulwider’s attorney could not be reached for comment Friday but denied the allegations against his client to the Sentinel.
Anyone with knowledge regarding Fulwider or believes they have been a victim of his is urged to contact the Winter Park Police Department at (407) 599-3211.