Fulwider, 59, had been out on bail since Oct. 17. The former 'Friends Talking Faith’ co-host faced a slew of charges including sexual battery on a minor by a person in custodial authority. He could have faced life in prison, if convicted. He had pleaded not guilty.
The Medical Examiner’s Office for Seminole County ruled the death a suicide, their records show.
The woman who had accused Fulwider of sexually abusing her for years said on Monday that she was not shocked by his suicide, and thanked the Winter Park Police Department for its work on the case and “belief in victims.”
Prosecutors had described the case against Fulwider as “extremely strong,” pointing to an almost hour-long recorded call between Fulwider and his accuser, in which Fulwider admitted the woman was a victim and he was a predator in the “eyes of the law."
In that controlled call, Winter Park Police Department detectives said they recorded Fulwider admitting to a “sexual relationship” with the victim for years when she was younger than 18.
Arrest documents said that Fulwider raped the girl well over 100 times between 2005 and 2010, beginning when she was 14, after he had started grooming her when she was only 13. Police said the girl had attended his church, First Congregational Church of Winter Park, Fulwider was senior minister.
Prior to his arrest, Fulwider was known as one of the “Three Wise Guys," along with Imam Muhammad Musri and Rabbi Steven Engel, who co-hosted “Friends Talking Faith,” broadcast weekly on 90.7 WMFE. The show, which was produced independently, went on indefinite hiatus after his arrest.