JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 59-year-old man listed as a Bible teacher at a Jacksonville Christian school is facing felony child sex charges, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest report.
Police said Robert Russell Browning allowed a girl between the age of 12 and 16 to perform oral sex on him inside Cedar Creek Baptist Church, on Lane Avenue.
The church operates Cedar Creek Christian School, and Browning is listed on the school's faculty page as a Bible teacher. His arrest report indicates he is currently unemployed.
Browning, who remains in jail on $250,000 bond, is charged with lewd battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
The victim's father said he discovered the inappropriate relationship when he checked his daughter's cellphone and found she and Browning were exchanging nude photos and lewd text messages.
"I found everything," the father said.
According to the arrest report, the girl said she performed consensual oral sex on Browning at the church while he touched her inappropriately. Investigators found text messages between Browning and the girl about the incident.
The father said he is furious and feels betrayed by someone who was supposed to be a mentor to his child.
According to his arrest report, Browning turned himself in to police Saturday and has retained a lawyer.
Pastor John Montgomery of Cedar Creek Baptist said the school took swift and immediate action, terminating Browning immediately.
Montgomery said Browning, like all employees, was fingerprinted and checked with the FBI when he was hired six years ago.
"Of all people, I would have never ever thought that something like that could have happened," Montgomery said. "We live in a fallen world, and people do things that absolutely shock you."
In addition to terminating Browning and trying to support the victim's family, Montgomery said the church was also increasing security and adding more surveillance cameras "to make sure this can't happen again."
The father said this is having a devastating effect on his relationship with his daughter.
“It’s torn my family apart. My daughter doesn't want to speak to me anymore," the man told News4Jax. “I’m actually glad this is getting out because this is so sick and people really need to pay attention to who they're hiring and who their kids are with. We live in a sick world."