Former EWTN priest calls sex abuse allegations a ‘scheme’ by mother of his child


By Greg Garrison |

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.

“I know absolutely that this was not true,” David Stone testified today about claims he sexually abused his son. “It was some kind of scheme going on.”

Stone, 55, said he moved to Birmingham in 1990 and lived at the Annunciation Friary in Irondale as he served as a Franciscan friar and studied to become a priest. He was ordained as a priest in 1998, he said.

Stone met the mother of his child, Christina Presnell, in 1998. She began work at EWTN in about 2002 and attended Mass at the EWTN chapel with her children. Stone said under questioning he may have invited Presnell to his ordination service; he was not sure.

The two of them gradually become close friends, he testified. “It was organic, natural,” he said. “We had a good friendship.”

By 2006 or 2007, that relationship had become sexual, although they had been “passionate” before that, he said.

“We would be passionate with one another, but every time we would be passionate it wasn’t a conjugal act,” Stone said.

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