Pastor, radio host accused in child sex case appears in court

Motion filed to disqualify defense

WINTER PARK, Fla. – A pastor and popular radio host accused of abusing a girl for years appeared in court Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing.

Rev. Bryan Fulwider, 59, was arrested Oct. 1 in Winter Park on 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. 

Police said Fulwider met the victim at First Congregational Church of Winter Park, where he was a pastor, and the abuse began when she was 14 years old and lasted until she turned 18.  

The abuse happened at church, in vehicles, in hotel rooms and during church trips, records show. 

Since his arrest, the "Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys" show on WMFE, which Fulwider co-hosted, has been put on hiatus. 

Before Thursday's hearing, a motion was filed to disqualify Fulwider's defense attorney. That motion was not discussed during the bond hearing Thursday afternoon. 

Fulwider's defense team argued he should get bond. They said he has deep ties to the community and is not a flight risk. 

News 6 also heard from Fulwider for the first time Thursday when he spoke about what he would do if he's released.

"I plan to restore my name and work to take care of the things I need to take care of, do the work I can," Fulwider said. 

The state called one witness to the stand during the hearing. Winter Park detective Pam Woehr testified about a controlled phone call between the victim and Fulwider.

"During that controlled phone call, does the defendant describe himself as a predator?" the prosecutor asked.

Woehr replied, "Yes."

"Does he also indicate that the victim in this case would in fact be the victim in the eyes of the law?" the prosecutor asked.

"Yes," Woehr said.

The state argued that the evidence is strong enough for the judge to set a high bond but Fulwider's defense attorney, Chris Kaigle, said the state has not heard the whole conversation.

"What we do know about the call is that there are a couple of snippets that law enforcement has zoned in on, put into their affidavit," Kaigle said.                

During the court appearance, a judge said she will issue a written ruling on Fulwider's bond later this week. She also requested to hear the 53-minute controlled phone call the victim made to Fulwider. 

Kaigle hopes to learn of the judge's decision on bond by Friday.

It's unclear when the motion to disqualify Fulwider's attorney will be discussed.

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