LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — The Director of Child Ministry at Anona United Methodist Church is facing a molestation charge after detectives say he inappropriately touched a teenage girl on her buttocks area.
Largo police say Domenic Victor Bisesti, 31, touched a 14-year-old girl in a lewd and lascivious manner over her clothing during a church function on church property. They say the behavior happened several times over the past several months.
Senior Pastor Jack Stephenson said he was still shaken by the allegations.
“I was just flat footed. It was a real shock,” said Stephenson. “We, last night, met with hundreds of parents while doing child care for their kids.”
Stephenson said they’re bringing in counselors Friday and Sunday to address concerned parents and talk to other youth to make sure there are no other victims.
“If they need to come forward, we really want to surround them… that’s safe to do and we love you and let’s take this step by step,” he said.
The victim asked Bisesti to stop after she realized the actions weren’t accidental, but he apparently continued to touch her inappropriately.
Largo police said on one occasion, Bisesti told the victim she was cute and he could not help himself.
The teen also described another incident where Bisesti cornered her in the church and was about to kiss her.
Investigators said Bisesti referenced the incident by contacting the victim on Snapchat. He wrote “I wish we could have either kept going or never gotten that close.”
Police were contacted after the girl told her mother what was happening.
No one was at Bisesti’s home in Largo on Thursday.
Stephenson said Bisesti has been with the church for several years. He oversaw drama, technology and dance programs within the church.
Bisesti cleaned out his office and is no longer allowed on campus.
“We want to first heal and make sure to find any other victims that are there and we want to deal with this right now,” said Stephenson.
Bisesti was arrested for lewd and lascivious molestation after police spoke to both him and the victim. Information on the girl’s cell phone also played a role in the investigation.
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