Hernando man accused of molesting exchange students considered a flight risk

Bruce McAllister

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Brooksville police say a man accused of molesting underage foreign exchange students is now considered a flight risk after he skipped town and traveled nearly 200 miles, and was then placed in a mental health facility.

Brooksville investigators say Bruce McAllister, 68, used a school-sponsored foreign exchange program to lure and sexually batter several underage minors. McAllister is the husband of a principal at Hernando Christian Academy.

McAllister turned up Sunday on the east coast of Florida in Vero Beach, according to Brooksville Police Captain Rick Hankins.

Hankins said police there applied the Baker Act and took Bruce McAllister to an undisclosed mental health facility.

Vero Beach police were not able to name the facility or reveal why McAllister was taken, but they did say that they are unable to locate any next of kin, including his wife. Investigators say they haven’t been able to reach Catherine McAllister, about the matter and are trying to track her down.

Hankins said two weeks ago, neighbors called police concerned that the McAllister’s were packing their home in a hurry. Bruce McAllister wasn’t under any travel restrictions, because Hankins said it didn’t seem likely that the couple would leave due to their ties to the community.

Ultimately, the decision will be up the judge, but Hankins said police support actions that would require McAllister to wear a GPS device.

Bruce McAllister was charged last month over accusations that he used the exchange program to lure and sexually batter several underage boys. Those children were under his guardianship at his home on Cappleman Loop in Brooksville. His wife is the principal of the school and is now on paid administrative leave, according to Hankins.

During the time the couple was seen packing their home, Hankins said the school was not cooperating with a subpoena order to help identify more victims.

Hankins said school officials have called police at least two times, saying they’ve misplaced the paperwork. He said the school has two days left to comply before the state attorney will look into considering legal action.

Officers have contacted the FBI to help with interviews and the investigation, which might extend to possible victims overseas, Hankins said.

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