BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville man accused of molesting two teenage girls at a Christian retreat center last week is the father of a child involved with a local ministry designed to keep young men on the right path.
David "Tony" Galloway, 43, of 21403 Anderson Road was arrested Friday on charges of battery and sexual assault on a victim over age 12.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said Galloway was part of a group volunteering with Shiloh Problem Solvers, a nonprofit program that provides youths with prevention, intervention and diversion services, along with educational services.
The Rev. Clarence D. Clark Sr., who helped to develop the program, said the ministry requires parents to volunteer for at least two hours. Clark said Galloway is not an employee with Shiloh or Lakewood Retreat, where the assaults allegedly happened on the night of July 19.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Clark declined further comment.
It wasn't immediately clear if the girls were part of the Shiloh program.
According to the arrest report, Galloway flipped up a 17-year-old girl's dress and touched her while on a walk at Lakewood Retreat.
The girl ran and told a friend what happened. The 18-year-old friend told Galloway to "knock it off," the report states. As the three reached the end of the nature trail, Galloway allegedly forced the 18-year-old against a tree and molested her. She told him to stop but he refused — the abuse ending only when she threatened to hit him, the report states.
Deputies summoned Galloway to the Sheriff's Office on Friday. Authorities said he invoked his right to remain silent and was taken into custody.
As of Monday afternoon, Galloway remained behind bars at the Hernando County Jail on $55,000 bail.
Lakewood Retreat, at 25458 Dan Brown Hill Road, is a 120-acre getaway and conference facility for church ministries from all Christian denominations.
According to the retreat's website, Lakewood is a place that offers people the "opportunity to find peace and quiet in nature, be it on a hiking trail, at the tree house, out on the lake, at the animal farm, or sitting on a shaded bench off in the quiet corners of the property."
Charles Goodwin, manager of Lakewood Retreat, said three different groups were using the facility on the night that Galloway is accused of assaulting the teens. Goodwin reiterated Monday that Galloway does not work with the retreat.
"It's our goal for it to be safe here," Goodwin said. "But we can't control everything that happens on 120 acres. Sometimes people make choices and this guy appeared to make a bad choice."
Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6120.