Radio host pastor accused in child sex case dies in apparent suicide, officials say

Rev. Bryan Fulwider, 59, charged with sexual battery

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A pastor and popular radio host recently arrested and accused of abusing a girl for years was found dead in his home over the weekend while out on bond, according to Altamonte Springs police.

Rev. Bryan Fulwider, 59, was a co-host on "Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys" on WMFE. The show, which is not produced by the NPR affiliate, was put on hiatus after Fulwider was arrested Oct. 1.

Fulwider was found dead Sunday night at his home in Altamonte Springs, police said.

Fulwider was arrested on charges 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 alleged abuse happened at church, in vehicles, in hotel rooms and during church trips, records show.

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A judge on Friday set his bail at $700,000. During the bail hearing, Fulwider said if he was granted release, he planned "to restore my name and work to take care of the things I need to take care of, do the work I can."

Fulwider posted bail under conditional release.

Altamonte Springs police were called Sunday at 11:50 p.m. to Fulwider's home on Post Oak Circle to respond to a possible suicide attempt.

A spokesperson for the Altamonte Springs Police Department said the medical examiner's office will make the final determination of cause of death.

In a statement to News 6 Fulwider's attorney, Jacob Stuart, was critical of the way his client was portrayed after his arrest.

"Personally, for me, the death of Reverend Fulwider leaves a heartache that may never mend," Stuart said. "For his family and his friends, I pray they will find comfort and consolation during this time of sorrow and grief in always remembering the many ways Reverend Fulwider offered his support and solace to others."

Stuart went on to say, "I am deeply disappointed and disturbed in how our legal system, members of the media, and our community have treated Reverend Fulwider."

Check back for updates on this developing story.