Pastor Hospitalized; Molestation Trial Delayed

November 2, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The trial of a longtime pastor of Trinity Baptist Church on charges he molested children decades ago has been postponed because the defendant is in the hospital.

Robert Gray appeared in person at his arraignment on a fourth sexual battery charge, then was allowed to remain free on bond.

Robert Gray was slated to stand trial Nov. 12 on three counts of capital sexual battery, but Judge John Merrett visited Gray in the hospital before ruling at a hearing on Friday that the trial would be indefinitely postponed because Gray is incapacitated.

The nature of Gray's ailment was not released. Gray is 81 years old.

Gray founded Trinity Baptist Church on Jacksonville's Westside nearly 40 years ago and later founded the church's Christian school.

Gray retired from Trinity in 1992. Prosecutors said the sexual abuse that resulted in the charges occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.

Gray's lawyer declined comment on the delay. Merrett set another hearing for Dec. 12 to review Gray's condition.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.