Prosecutors did not pursue the charges against Pastor David Downs, formerly of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Chuluota.
David Rutherford Downs, 54, the former pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Chuluota, was released from custody this week after spending months at the Orange County Jail on charges of capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation.
Sheriff's detectives arrested Downs
in July 2012 after receiving a tip from someone who said the victim said she
had been molested over several years.
, who had been at the helm of the Chuluota church for more than 20 years, initially left the area when the allegations surfaced.
Authorities suspected Downs
was attempting to flee, but his
attorney said his
client was visiting out-of-state relatives and returned as soon as he
learned a warrant had been issued for his
Over several months of legal work, Yates cast doubts on the validity of the child's testimony and cited a Department of Children and Families investigation, which concluded there was insufficient evidence that any molestation had occurred.
In the end, state prosecutors decided not to seek charges and prosecute the case and the charges were dropped.
Downs is no longer a member or leader at the Chuluota church, said Pastor Charlie Vazquez.