Police say a Texas Baptist pastor admitted he sexually assaulted a young girl in his family for at least five years, sometimes having sex with the child several times a day.
NBC News reports that 43-year-old Stephen Bratton, a former pastor at the Grace Family Baptist Church in Cypress Station, was arrested Friday after he allegedly confessed to his wife and three Southern Baptist clergy members that he “sinned in grievous ways.” The clergy members immediately contacted police and filed a report.
Bratton reportedly assaulted the 13-year-old girl for five years, between 2013 and 2018. He allegedly said that it started out with inappropriate touching, but eventually led to sexual intercourse, which would happen multiple times per day on some occasions.
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After investigations, authorities arrested Bratton and charged him with continuous sexual abuse of a minor. He’s since been released on $500,000 bond but ordered to have no contact with his wife and seven children, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Stephen Bratton could be seen outside the court room this morning, Bible in hand. The local former southern Baptist pastor was arrested for allegedly continuously sexually abusing a teenage relative. @FOX26Houston #Houston #HouNews pic.twitter.com/0MHc05VVSm
— Lindsey Henry FOX 26 (@LindseyFOX26) June 17, 2019
A spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Convention indicated that Bratton has been excommunicated.
Bratton was an outspoken pro-life advocate for House Bill 896. He was so vocal on the issue that he made national news for his support on charging women criminally who had abortions.
“Whoever authorizes or commits murder is guilty. They’re guilty already in a court that is far more weighty than what is here in Texas,” he said.
The bill, which pushed for abolishing abortions and charging women with murder if they had an abortion, ultimately failed.
The story is developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Stephen Bratton/Police Handout]