Melbourne church counselor charged with molesting teens - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Melbourne church counselor charged with molesting teens

Alex Zequeira bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

VERO BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A Melbourne church counselor is under arrest and being charged with molesting two teenagers at the Life for Youth Church Camp in Vero Beach.

David Frank Martin, a church counselor at the Faith Fellowship Church in Melbourne, was arrested Saturday morning after police say he was accused of sexually molesting two teens that were under his care during a church retreat. The two victims are 11 and 13 years old.

Authorities have not yet released any other details about the case. According to Sherri Stevens, the director of the Life for Youth Church Camp, the initial complaint was given to her by an adult member of the Faith Fellowship group on Saturday

"We had a group here renting the facility here for a retreat, and the leader came to me and said that there was an incident that happened in one of their cabins... and that some kids had alleged that they had been sexually molested," said Stevens.

That complaint led to the arrest of Martin, later that morning. The situation is a travesty for the staff at the youth ca, who are now finding themselves having to regain the trust of those looking to them for spiritual guidance.

"We just have to believe that what we're doing here, and the facility that we're providing, and the purpose that we're here for, still continues on," said Stevens.

Camp officials say they conduct strict background checks on all full time employees, and that they trust that every church that goes their conducts their own background checks on chaperons and counselors too. They say this is the first time anything like this has been alleged at the camp, in its 48 year history.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Church Leaders at the Faith Fellowship Church in Melbourne addressed the allegations, assuring churchgoers that their number one concern, is and always the safety of the children.

Martin is still being held at the Brevard County Jail, and is expected to be transferred over to the Indian River County Jail some time on Monday. No word yet on whether he will have a bond set.

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