An Ocala pastor has been found guilty of sexually abusing a child over a period of several years
A Marion County jury returned a guilty verdict Wednesday for an Ocala man accused of sexually assaulting a child over several years.
It took jurors less than 45 minutes to find 34-year-old Frederick Lamar Hamilton guilty of eight felony charges, including multiple counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child between 12 and 16 years old.
Marion County deputies arrested Hamilton in October 2020 after the victim’s mother reported the abuse.
According to court records, the victim told investigators that Hamilton had been doing “inappropriate things” to them for about six years, starting when the victim was just 12 years old.
The victim described multiple sexual encounters with Hamilton that occurred at the victim’s home, at Hamilton’s home, and at a church in Ocala that Hamilton led.
The victim’s mother met with Hamilton about two weeks before his arrest, during which Hamilton admitted he “struggled with homosexuality,” records say.
In his own interview with investigators, Hamilton admitted to sexually assaulting the victim on three separate occasions.
The case against Hamilton also included statements from witnesses supporting the victim’s claims.
“Children teach us many things, and resilience is one of them,” William Gladson, state’s attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, said in a statement following Hamilton’s sentencing. “The victim in this case not only dealt with the painful challenges of this malicious individual taking advantage of her, but the victim persevered to ensure that Hamilton was held accountable for his disgusting crimes.”
Hamilton will be sentenced at a date yet to be determined.