A Florida pastor and Christian talk radio show host killed himself after he was accused of repeatedly raping a teenage girl.
The Rev. Bryan Fulwider was accused of raping the girl more than 100 times since 2005 when she was 14 years old, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Emergency crews responded to reports of a suicide at Fulwider’s home around 11:50 p.m. Sunday when Fulwider was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Seminole County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Fulwider’s death as a suicide.
Fulwider, 59, had been released from prison out on bail since October 17. The former co-host of “Friends Talking Faith” faced multiple charges, including one count of sexual battery on a minor by a person of authority, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He faced up to life in prison if sentenced on the charges. Fulwider pleaded not guilty to all charges.
“We are shocked at the death by suicide of Bryan Fulwider. Our sympathies are with his family in their time of anguish,” the show stated on its Facebook page. “We stand in solidarity with the victim or victims in this case that will now not have their day in court and receive the justice due to them.”
Fulwider’s accuser told the Sentinel on condition of anonymity that her alleged attacker was a coward and hinted that there could be more victims of his out there.
“Fulwider’s day in court will never come because he knew all the truths I could tell,” the woman told the paper.
The First Congregational Church, where Fulwider preached, is still “trying to absorb the impact of all the events,” according to a statement from the church’s current senior minister the Rev. Shawn Garvey.
“For now, all we can do is pray for Bryan’s family and the victim (to) at some point, find a path to healing,” Garvey wrote in a statement.