Convicted Houston Former Pastor Faces Judge Following Child Molestation Case
Harris County, TX (August 12, 2021) – Stephen Bratton, former pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church, found guilty of sexual assault of a minor, was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The sentencing follows the February guilty plea Bratton, 46, made for the charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14. This case resulted from Bratton’s own confession back in 2019. The sex offender disclosed to colleagues at the baptist church in Cypress Station that he inappropriately touched a girl at the parish.
According to case records, his lewd behavior “escalated to sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week.” A church official said pastor Bratton worked at the Grace Family Baptist Church for at least a decade prior to his confession.
Following Stephen Bratton’s admissions, several of his colleagues went to the authorities with the newfound information. Consequently, the pastor quickly turned into an ex-pastor, and pleaded guilty in the child molestation case.
Harris County District Attorney’s Office later specified that the abuser sexually molested a teen for five years, beginning from when she was 13. In a statement, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg lauded the pastors that reported the sex crime, referring to them as “people of conscience.”
Harris County Response to Bratton’s Sexual Misconduct
Furthermore, Assistant District Attorney Brett Batchelor, affirmed the importance for victims of sexual abuse to recieve vindication.
Batchelor worked as the case’s prosecutor, an employee for the district’s Crimes Against Children Division. “We need to protect the community and protect future victims,” Batchelor stated. “It’s also a big part of the victim’s healing process.”
Sexual abuse by spiritual leaders has been documented in every state in the United States. The abuse allegations indeed span many decades. Moreover, many high-ranking Church officials organize cover-ups in order to keep the public image of their perish from dilapidating. Instead of protecting children, many dioceses and church members have been known to conceal the pervasive abuse of assailants.
If you believe you may be a victim of sexual abuse by adults in the Baptist Church, know that you are not alone. Every day, more survivors come forward with their accounts of abuse and the subsequent effects, both emotional and physical. It is never too late to speak up. No matter when the abuse took place, you can still report it through a sexual abuse lawsuit. Victims of molestation committed by pastors can also disclose such allegations to local law enforcement agencies.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are plenty of legal options that you should be made aware of. Speaking to a trusted legal professional will help you sort out all of the legal avenues you can take. This way, you will have all the information when deciding on how to proceed.
Please reach out to us at Sweet Lawyers. Our professional team is ready to discuss your questions and legal options in a free, confidential consultation. This consultation does not obligate you to move forward; however, if you do wish to proceed, know that California law allows victims of sexual abuse or assult to keep their identity a secret. Therefore, your case could be easily filed under the name “Jane Doe.”