Ex-EWTN priest, TV host not guilty of child sexual abuse, jury says


By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com

A Jefferson County jury today found a former EWTN priest and TV personality not guilty of child sexual abuse.

David Stone, 55, hosted a talk show for youth from 2001-2007 on EWTN. While working at EWTN he fathered a child with an EWTN employee, Christina Presnell. The child was born in 2008.

Stone had been charged with sexually abusing his son.

“I think the jury reached the correct decision,” said Stone’s attorney, Chip Bradford. “Hopefully he can move ahead with his life and in his relationship with his son.”

Stone has not had visitation with his son for several years, Bradford said. He is now eligible for supervised visitation, based on a previous order in Jefferson County Family Court, Bradford said. His visitation rights were put on hold as a condition of his bond.

A former EWTN priest and TV personality who hosted a talk show for youth from 2001-2007 called the allegations that he sexually abused his son a “scheme” by the mother, who denied him further visitation after saying the child told her of improper touching.

Stone, formerly known as Father Francis Mary Stone when he hosted the TV show “Life on the Rock,” was suspended from his religious order and placed on long-term leave of absence at EWTN after it became known he had fathered the child. Presnell was fired from EWTN.

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