A former Texas pastor who encouraged state legislators to criminalize abortion has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Stephen Bratton, 43, allegedly molested a teenage relative for two years, Vice News reports, engaging in "sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week."
Bratton was recently excommunicated after confessing to his wife and clergy members, according to the Houston Chronicle. He is one of hundreds of Southern Baptist pastors and staffers, past and present, accused of sex abuse, the newspaper said.
“This person’s life is in such a contradiction to the faith that we see no evidence that they are a Christian,” Aaron Wright, who served as co-pastor with Bratton, told the Chronicle.
Harris County sheriff's deputies took Bratton into custody Friday. His bond was set at $50,000.
The abortion bill that Bratton was pushing for never made it to a vote. The Texas Legislature recessed last month and won't return for two years.
"Whoever authorizes or commits murder is guilty," Bratton said during the hearing, according to the Associated Press. "They're guilty already in a court that is far more weighty than what is here in Texas."