Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Former Adventist Pastor in Florida
28 May 2019 | Two women have filed a lawsuit against the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the former pastor of Bethel Eglise Haitienne Des Adventistes in Orange County, Florida. The women claim to have been sexually abused by Billy Leveille three years ago. They announced the lawsuit today.
Kenia Gilles and Jeny Desronvil worked for Leveille, who was arrested in March 2018 after abusing Gilles, who was 17 at the time.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Leveille was given seven years of probation after admitting guilt in two child abuse charges. Desronvil did not press criminal charges.
In the current lawsuit, the girls claim that they were abused in the summer of 2016 when Desronvil, 21 at the time, served as Leveille’s secretary, and Gilles worked as assistant secretary.
According to the lawsuit, the pastor took Desronvil and Gilles to hotels, claiming it was work-related, and would then abuse them there. Videos and pictures of Leveille and the two females were shared on social media in March 2017.
Local ABC television affiliate WFTV9 reported that Leveille was fired after the allegations of underage sex surfaced and was, according to a police report, banned from pastoring the church.
At the time, Leveille was accused of having sex with Gilles three times at different hotels.
According to the police reports, the then-minor told investigators that “she did not feel comfortable with this but was scared to tell Leveille anything, as he was the pastor of her church.”
According to Gilles, the former pastor would say that “he was really stressed and needed a stress reliever” during the incidents.
The case caught the attention of law enforcement after a video on Facebook purported to show Leveille having sex with someone that was understood to be female and a minor.
The women are suing the Florida Conference, claiming that Leveille was employed without a background check and that his behavior was not correctly supervised.