Florida Pastor Arrested in Prostitution Sting

Richard Cecil
Richard Cecil (Naples PD)

A Florida pastor was arrested in a prostitution sting this week.

Richard Cecil was a pastor at The Father's House in Fort Myers, but now runs a ministry out of his home, according to reports.

Cecil's arrest report says the minister made phone contact with a person who later was identified as an undercover officer and arranged to meet at the hotel. He then allegedly negotiated performance of a sexual act for $200 and then was arrested, according to USA Today.

Cecil denies the allegations and waived his arraignment, asking instead for a trial by jury.

An NBC affiliate reports Cecil often prayed at the beginning of Lee County Commissioner's meetings in 2005-06.

"Richard's extensive Hebraic insight, humorous, dynamic and engaging style endears him to a wide spectrum of pastoral engagements and ministry opportunities," according one Ohio church who invited the pastor to speak last year.

An actor and judge were also arrested in the sting.

"It's, there's no explanation. It's just horrible. It's definitely a shock, it's a shock to think all of these prominent men that are in our community that could get together and form this, is just unreal," Lynn Mackey, his former neighbor, says.

Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.

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