State Watch

Former pastor in Texas charged with child sex abuse

A former Southern Baptist pastor in Texas is accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage relative and was arrested on charges of child sex abuse, according to the Associated Press. 

Stephen Bratton, the alleged abuser, supported Texas legislation that would have criminalized abortions, according to the AP. 

A Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesman told The Houston Chronicle Bratton allegedly engaged in inappropriate touching of his relative that escalated to "sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week" between 2013 and 2015. 

Bratton, 43, posted $50,000 bond has has been released from the county jail, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

Bratton told his wife about the abuse in May, and told his Grace Family Baptist Church co-pastors that same day he "sinned in grievous ways," according to court documents obtained by the AP.

It is unclear whether Bratton has an attorney to comment, and the Associated Press couldn't locate a number for Bratton Sunday. 

In April, Bratton publicly spoke out in favor of a failed Texas bill that would have allowed women to be criminally charged with homicide for terminating pregnancies. 

"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," Bratton said at a hearing for the bill, according to the Associated Press. 

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