Pastor Facing New Sexual Battery Charges; Other Women Have Come Forward with Claims of Lewd Behavior

Article excerpt

A former pastor of one of Jacksonville's most prominent Baptist churches -- already in jail on two charges of capital sexual battery -- has been charged with two more counts after a 32-year-old woman told police he molested her more than two decades ago.

Lt. Annie Smith, head of the sex crimes unit of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said Thursday that 15 other women have come forward with allegations of lewd behavior by Robert Calhoun Gray Jr., 80, former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church and head of its Westside school.

The statute of limitations had expired on many alleged offenses but not on the allegations that prompted the two newest felony charges.

The 32-year-old Keystone Heights woman told police she was molested when she was 5 years old and 8 years old. Gray is accused of kissing the woman when she was 5 and putting his hand up her dress and fondling her -- also exposing himself -- when she was 8.

That woman said the molestations happened on church property in a car and an office. The man gave her money to buy a soda afterward and told her she was his "reward," according to the booking report.

Gray remained in the Duval County jail Thursday without bail. He was arrested Friday after two women, now 32 and 35, told police he fondled them, touched their genitals and kissed them during visits to his office at the school when they were 6 years old. …