Judge sets $1.4M bond for pastor accused of fleeing to Texas after sexually abusing girl in Florida Keys

Local10.com [Pembroke Park, FL]

April 20, 2024

By Cody Weddle and Andrea Torres

Pastor who ‘violated a 15-year-old girl’ is on the run, prosecutor says

A 62-year-old man who served as a First Baptist Church pastor when a teenage girl accused him of giving her a spiked drink and sexually abusing her appeared in court on Saturday in the Florida Keys.

Rev. Monte LaVelle Chitty, a registered police volunteer, appeared before Monroe County Circuit Judge James W. Morgan III at the Marathon Courthouse wearing a light blue jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Chitty on March 4 after they found incriminating text messages to the girl including, “I prefer you pass out after I play not before” and “You can’t even remember what I did.”

He was released on a $75,000 bond.

“While you were out on bail, you committed a new crime,” Morgan said about his failure to appear in court.

According to deputies, Chitty had fled to Texas, and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him on April 5 at Woodville on Morgan’s warrant.

Chitty was facing charges of sexual battery on a child, delinquency of a minor, and lewd and lascivious molestation on a child.

Morgan set his bond for the sexual battery charge at $1 million. The bonds for the other two charges were $300,000, and the bond for the failure to appear charge was $100,000, so the total bond is $1.4 million.

“If you post bail, I am ordering you to report to pre-trial services once a week,” Morgan told Chitty in court.

The judge also ordered Chitty to wear a GPS ankle monitor and cover its cost.

According to Alaska Public Media, in Southwest Alaska, authorities feared there were other victims since he had also served as a pastor at the Cold Bay Chapel and as a village public safety officer in the Alaskan communities of False Pass and Akutan.