Pastor arrested, accused of molestation

It’s a crime allegedly pulled off by a community leader.

A local pastor and principal is accused of molesting a child.

The charge is the end result of a 10-month-long investigation.

WESH 2’s Adrian Whitsett spent the day looking into the case and the man at the center of it.

Samuel Vidal, Jr., 40, a local pastor and past president of a Christian school, stands accused of improper conduct with a 15-year-old student.

Vidal, Jr. was arrested by Palm Bay police at 10 a.m. Wednesday on one count of lewd/lascivious molestation of a minor.

Investigators told WESH 2 News they were first called by the parents of the 15-year-old girl when she attended the Restoration Church and School in Palm Bay, but it took more than eight months to find enough evidence to apply for a warrant.

“At first, it was a he-said, she-said case with no probable cause,” said Lt. Mike Bandish.

During the course of the investigation, a DNA hit came back for Vidal and investigators were able to present that to a judge, who signed off on the arrest warrant.

Vidal was listed as the president of Restoration Church and School last year. Police said they parted ways after the allegations came out last year.

Currently he was associated with Overcomers Academy on Palm Bay Road, and police said he was the principal there, as well.

The woman listed as the president of that academy responded to WESH 2’s Adrian Whitsett via text message.

“He is not the principal, I am the principal. I do not wish to speak to you though, you have it wrong,” the text message said.

Vidal Jr. is currently being held in the Brevard County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Police ask anyone with information to call Palm Bay police or Crimeline.