Accused counselor now inviting patients to his home

Department of Heath says license is clear

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Kissimmee police said a pastoral counselor accused of touching one of his patients inappropriately is now inviting some of his patients to his home.

News 6 first reported the arrest of Dr. Gerardo "Jerry" DeJesus -- an Episcopal priest and a pastoral counselor -- in January.

Investigators said one of his patients called police after he "touched her in an unwanted manner outside the scope of his care."

Officers said they arrested DeJesus and charged him with three counts of battery.

Now, police said, they've learned that DeJesus is inviting some of his patients to his home.

"I can't for the life of me fathom why he would be putting himself in that situation," said his accuser, who wished to remain anonymous.

News 6 checked with the Episcopal Diocese of Orlando, where Bishop Gregory Brewer said he immediately "inhibited (DeJesus) from functioning as a priest in any capacity" after his arrest.

The Florida Department of Health said DeJesus' license as a registered mental health counselor is still active, and they said that, as a pastoral counselor, DeJesus doesn't need a license to practice.

"I cannot imagine how someone can provide that kind of treatment without having any oversight," said his accuser. "(There's) no governing body to oversee what he's doing."

DeJesus' attorney had no comment when asked about inviting patients to his home. He released a statement to News 6 Friday afternoon.

"I would like to point out one fact: despite the high profile nature of this case and despite the best efforts of the Kissimmee Police department to find other 'victims' there is only one person who has come forward to make an allegation against my client. We are confident that when the facts come out the jury will see the accuser’s motive for making these charges and more importantly, the public will have a chance to see that my client is a dedicated and respected man who has the support of his family and his community," the statement read.
 

Kissimmee police said this case is still very active, and they requested other potential victims to come forward.

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