An ex-Southern Baptist pastor who promoted a strict anti-abortion bill in Texas has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting for a relative of five years, authorities said Sunday.
Stephen Bratton, a former pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston, was arrested on a count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, church and law enforcement officials.
Bratton, 44, allegedly started abusing the girl in 2013 when he was 13 years old, including sexually assaulting Here, multiple times a day, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. They did not say the two were related.
Church officials said they learned of the alleged assault last month when Bratton confessed to two other pastors. They filed a police report May 16 and excommunicated Bratton a week later, they said in a statement Saturday.
“The elsewhere called upon Stephen Bratton to accept the full responsibility for his actions and to place himself at the mercy of the criminal justice system, "the statement said.
It wasn't immediately clear if Bratton had a lawyer.
The Associated Press reported that Bratton, a father of seven, supported a state law that would have criminalized abortion and charged women Who underwent the procedure with homicide.
"Whoever authorizes or commits murder is guilty," Bratton said at a hearing for the bill, according to the AP. "They're already in a court that is far more weighty than what is here in Texas."
The bill never got voted, the AP reported.