Sexual battery trial of former church deacon nears

Thomas Halsey, 66, accused of abusing young girl


LEESBURG, Fla. – Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the trial of a Lake County church deacon accused of sexual battery.

Prosecutors say Thomas Halsey, 66, forced a child to perform sexual acts inside a tree house at his Leesburg home in 2014.

At the time of the allegations, Halsey was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Leesburg.

According to court documents, the victim was under the age of 12 and the abuse took place for two years.

During his interview with detectives, Halsey said after every incident he made the girl's mother aware of the inappropriate behavior. The girls' mother denied that Halsey contacted her about the abuse, according to officials.


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