A former Texas pastor who backed a bill to criminalize abortions was arrested on child sex abuse charges, The Associated Press reports.
Stephen Bratton, 43, was accused of molesting a teenage relative for two years after she turned 13 before the touching escalated to “sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week,” according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Bratton confessed the abuse to his wife in May and admitted to co-pastors at the Grace Family Baptist Church that he had “sinned in grievous ways,” according to court documents.
Bratton resigned from the church last month, The Houston Chronicle reported.
He was released on $50,000 bond.
“This person’s life is in such a contradiction to the faith that we see no evidence that they are a Christian,” co-pastor Aaron Wright told The Chronicle.
Bratton was an outspoken anti-choice advocate:
Bratton, a father of seven, was an outspoken supporter of a Texas bill that would have charged women with homicide if they got an abortion. Under Texas law, homicide can be punished by the death penalty.
“Whoever authorizes or commits murder is guilty,” Bratton said at a hearing in April. “They’re guilty already in a court that is far more weighty than what is here in Texas.”
The measure never came up for a vote.