Hernando man accused of molesting exchange students commits suicide before court appearance, police say

Bruce McAllister_379832

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Police say a man accused of molesting underage foreign exchange students in Brooksville committed suicide before his court appearance Thursday.

Bruce McAllister, 68, was accused of using a school-sponsored foreign exchange program to lure and sexually batter several underage minors under his guardianship. McAllister is the husband of Catherine McAllister, a principal at Hernando Christian Academy. Catherine McAllister was placed on administrative leave when the accusations came to light.

Bruce McAllister was charged in May after police investigated a complaint they received in April about multiple sex offenses he had allegedly committed. After the investigation, McAllister was arrested on five counts of sexual battery and 27 counts of battery on foreign exchange students. Police believe there were more victims.

After his release from the Hernando County Jail, McAllister skipped town and traveled nearly 200 miles to Vero Beach where he was later placed in an undisclosed mental health facility through the Baker Act.

The exact circumstances leading up to his death remain unclear.

Police said he was scheduled for a Hernando County court appearance on Thursday.Stay on WFLA.com for more updates on this developing story.

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