tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
  • Home
News Roundup

Brooksville police want foreign exchange student records in Hernando Christian Academy sexual assault case

BROOKSVILLE — Police Chief George Turner said Friday his department will subpoena Hernando Christian Academy for all of its foreign exchange student records as detectives look for more teens who may have been sexually abused by the principal's husband.

Bruce McAllister, the husband of Principal Cathy McAllister, was arrested Thursday by Brooksville police on 32 criminal charges, accused of sexually abusing two 17-year-old teens from Europe attending the school and living in the United States under his guardianship.

Police previously said the criminal charges involved three teens, but on Friday said they were still investigating the allegations of a third boy. The identity of the teens is being withheld by police because of the nature of the allegations.

Bruce McAllister, 68, was a volunteer at the school and a massage therapist who had lost his license. Police said he told the boys he was an expert in sports medicine, and gained their trust by promising to make them American football stars.

The two boys were assaulted from September 2016 to February, police said. All three students, 17-year-old seniors awaiting graduation, previously lived with the McAllisters at their home on Cappleman Loop in Brooksville. There are currently no children living in the home, officials said.

Detectives said they have identified a fourth victim, someone who lived with Bruce McAllister in 2006. But the statute of limitations to bring charges in that case has expired, Turner said.

The school's attorney, Deborah Hogan, confirmed Bruce McAllister was "a volunteer assisting in the physical therapy training of athletes" at Hernando Christian Academy, though he was never paid. The school has dismissed him, she said.

He also volunteered with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, working at the Hernando County Courthouse. Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis dismissed him from that post Thursday.

Hogan issued a statement Friday saying the school has opened its own investigation and has pledged to cooperate with all governmental agencies.

Bruce McAllister faces five counts of sexual assault by a custodian and 27 counts of misdemeanor battery. He was released from the Hernando County jail Thursday night after posting $77,000 bail.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or [email protected] Follow @josh_solomon15.

Weather Center