JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Disturbing details were released Wednesday involving what led to the arrest of a former Wolfson Children’s Hospital nurse who was working as a church youth group leader in Jacksonville.
Gregory Norton, 58, was arrested Saturday and is accused of eight counts of sexual battery involving children that happened more than 10 years ago. He could serve life in prison if convicted.
Documents obtained by News4JAX show Norton is accused of being inappropriate with boys from the hospital and his church.
Police said he sexually abused children for years and he had a pattern of buying boys presents and giving massages to pediatric patients.
Norton hasn’t worked at Wolfson since 2008, but former colleagues there told police he was a nurse on the fifth floor. According to a warrant, Norton was accused of touching a patient inappropriately in 2003 but an investigation found the allegation to be unfounded.
A search warrant from the State Attorney’s Office also revealed Norton got in trouble at Wolfson in 2007 after he was found massaging a patient in their room around 11 p.m.
“This was considered to be inappropriate and unprofessional behavior,” a report reads.
It also said he had been previously counseled about similar incidents. He was known to hang around in patients’ rooms after his shift was over.
A co-worker of his told investigators Norton resigned in 2008 before he could be fired after he was once again found to be massaging a child in their room — a minor from his church.
Norton previously served as a youth group leader at Oak Hill Church on the Westside, and records shared with News4JAX show that’s where he met a victim police said he sexually abused for years starting in 2002.
More recently, Norton was involved with Westside Baptist Church in Jacksonville. One witness said he taught Bible study there.
Affidavits said two people at the church complained about his behavior and alleged he was buying gifts for a teen boy and that he was involved in inappropriate conversations with kids.
Norton left Westside Baptist Church after the allegations came to light, and the church said it has a zero-tolerance policy for child abuse and is fully cooperating with police.
Wolfson sent a statement that said their practices and policies reflect their deep commitment to the safety of children and families and they are also cooperating with the investigation.
News4JAX again reached out to Oak Hill Church, but we have not yet heard back.