Former church youth pastor accused of sex crimes involving children dies in JSO custody, sources say

A former Wolfson Children’s Hospital nurse and church youth pastor accused of sex crimes involving children died in custody Wednesday, sources told News4JAX.

Sources said Gregory Norton, 59, was transferred from jail to UF Health several days ago for unspecified medical issues.

Norton was accused of 16 charges of sexual battery involving children that happened more than 10 years ago.

Documents obtained by News4JAX show Norton was accused of being inappropriate with boys from the hospital and his church.

Norton previously served as a youth group leader at Oak Hill Church on the Westside, and records shared with News4JAX show that’s where he met a victim police said he sexually abused for years starting in 2002.

RELATED | Former nurse accused of sex crimes targeted children at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Westside church, police say

More recently, Norton was involved with Westside Baptist Church in Jacksonville. One witness said he taught Bible study there.

Affidavits said two people at the church complained about his behavior and alleged he was buying gifts for a teen boy and that he was involved in inappropriate conversations with kids.

Norton left Westside Baptist Church after the allegations came to light, and the church said it has a zero-tolerance policy for child abuse and is fully cooperating with police.

Norton hasn’t worked at Wolfson since 2008, but former colleagues there told police he was a nurse on the fifth floor. According to a warrant, Norton was accused of touching a patient inappropriately in 2003 but an investigation found the allegation to be unfounded.

A search warrant from the State Attorney’s Office also revealed Norton got in trouble at Wolfson in 2007 after he was found massaging a patient in their room around 11 p.m.

Norton was facing life in prison if convicted.

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