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Marathon, FL - First Baptist Pastor, Monte Chitty, Arrested for Alleged Drugging and Sexual Assault of Teenage Girl in Church

Marathon, FL - First Baptist Pastor, Monte Chitty, Arrested for Alleged Drugging and Sexual Assault of Teenage Girl in Church
Published: March 8, 2024
By: Darla Medina
Last Updated on March 8, 2024

Florida Pastor Arrested for Alleged Drugging and Raping Teen

Fox 35 Orlando reported that a shocking incident unfolded at the First Baptist Church in Marathon, Florida, as a 62-year-old pastor, Monte Chitty, was taken into custody on charges of sexual assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to authorities, Chitty stands accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a teenage girl inside the church premises located at 200 62nd St, Marathon, FL 33050.

The disturbing series of events began when an anonymous caller alerted law enforcement after overhearing a 15-year-old girl disclose that she had been raped. The caller further informed deputies that the girl and her grandmother had boarded a dinghy and were headed toward the harbor.

In response to the report, deputies initiated a search for the teenager. However, their efforts were interrupted when Chitty himself contacted them, expressing concerns about an impending accusation and claiming he wanted to get "ahead of it." According to Chitty's account, a young girl from his congregation had consumed alcohol and subsequently passed out on a library couch. He maintained that he had assisted her in lying down but denied any further physical contact.

Upon locating the teen, deputies interviewed her about the incident. She disclosed that Chitty had provided her with alcoholic beverages that may have been spiked with an unknown substance. Almost immediately, she experienced weakness and lost consciousness. Disturbingly, she alleged that upon regaining awareness, Chitty was touching her inappropriately.

Text messages discovered during the investigation further implicated Chitty, as they contained references to engaging in sexual activities with the incapacitated teenager.

Previously registered as a volunteer with the sheriff's office, Chitty was subsequently arrested and booked into the Monroe County Jail, where he will face the serious charges brought against him.

This distressing incident has sent shockwaves through the local community, highlighting the urgent need for safeguarding measures within religious institutions. The authorities are encouraging anyone with additional information related to this case to come forward and assist in the ongoing investigation.

As the legal process unfolds, the impacted community seeks answers and justice for the young victim who endured such a horrifying ordeal within the supposed sanctuary of a place of worship.

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Attorney Michael Haggard, Esq., Discusses Legal Options for Victims of Clergy Abuse

In response to the recent arrest of the pastor in Florida, we sat down with child abuse attorney Michael Haggard. Michael shared valuable guidance on navigating civil litigation for victims of clergy abuse. With his extensive experience in handling cases of abuse by pastors, Michael provided crucial insights into the steps victims can take to seek accountability and redress for the harm they have endured. Join us as we dig deeper into the legal options available to those abused by a pastor or priest to learn how the legal system can offer support and justice in such challenging circumstances.

Editor Darla Medina (DM): Good afternoon, Mr. Haggard. Thank you for joining us today to discuss this troubling case involving Pastor Monte Chitty. As a clergy abuse attorney with experience handling cases of child abuse, could you provide some insight into what legal options are available to victims of abuse by pastors?

Michael Haggard, Esq. (MH): Thank you for having me, Darla. In situations like these, victims of abuse by pastors may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties. It's crucial for victims to understand that they have the right to seek justice and hold those accountable for the harm they have endured.

DM: What steps can victims take if they believe they have been abused by a pastor and wish to pursue a civil case?

MH: Victims should first seek support from trusted individuals and professionals, such as counselors or advocacy groups specializing in abuse cases. It's important to document any evidence or details related to the abuse and consult with an experienced attorney who can guide them through the legal process. By filing a civil lawsuit, victims can seek compensation for damages, hold the responsible parties accountable, and potentially prevent future instances of abuse.

DM: How can the legal system help victims of clergy abuse navigate the complexities of pursuing justice through civil litigation?

MH: The legal system provides a framework for victims to seek redress for the harm they have suffered. Attorneys specializing in clergy abuse cases can offer support, representation, and advocacy throughout the legal proceedings. By working with knowledgeable attorneys, victims can navigate the complexities of civil litigation and pursue accountability for those who have violated their trust and caused them harm.

DM: Thank you, Mr. Haggard, for sharing your thoughts on this important issue and providing valuable information for victims seeking justice in cases of clergy abuse.


Fox 35 Orlando

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Darla Medina
About Darla Medina
Editor: Darla is a content writer with a focus on the legal field. She covers cases of sexual abuse, drunk driving, and preventable violent crime for the Legal Herald. Contact Darla: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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