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A former Southern Baptist pastor, Stephen Barton, has been arrested on charges of child sex abuse. He was accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage relative over the course of two years. Also, when Texas was considering a ban on abortions that would have subjected women — not just doctors — to the death penalty, Stephen Bratton supported that legislation.
A Republican state legislator, Jeff Leach, said he couldn’t support the “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act” because he felt only doctors should be punished, and the bill eventually died. Jack Graham, the pastor of a Houston megachurch, even praised Leach (who happened to be a member of his congregation) for his “courageous” decision. Barton criticized Graham back then:
“…You have used the power of the pulpit and your influence as one who is supposed to speak for the LORD to effectively endorse the murder of another 55,000 children in Texas in the next year and 110,000 over the coming two years before our legislature meets again… Your endorsement of the shelving of HB 896 is essentially authorizing the deaths of approximately 110,000 pre-born children in this State, and you will be held accountable before God for those deaths.”
Bratton publicly testified in support of the bill in April. "Whoever authorizes or commits murder is guilty," Bratton said at the hearing. "They're guilty already in a court that is far more weighty than what is here in Texas." Does he know what is happening with molesters? Interesting thing is that Barton wants women to be punished for abortions while he was literally raping a child “multiple times a day.”
ABC News reports that Stephen Bratton is accused of subjecting the relative to inappropriate touching that escalated to "sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week" from 2013 to 2015, according to Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
There are no other known victims, according to church leaders.
Bratton told his wife about the abuse in May, and admitted to his co-pastors at Grace Family Baptist Church that same day that he had "sinned in grievous ways," according to court documents. Grace Family Baptist Church released its own statement on Saturday saying Barton is “no longer in a position of leadership at the church and is no longer receiving a salary.” They added that he was “excommunicated by the church” the week after he confessed his crimes to the pastors.
Bratton was released from custody after posting a $50,000 bond.