HOUSTON – The former pastor of a Southern Baptist church in north Harris County has been sentenced following his conviction in a child molestation case.
Stephen Bratton, 46, was convicted after he admitted to molesting a teen starting from when she was 13 and continued to do so for about five years, authorities said.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Bratton pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Bratton stepped down from the Grace Family Baptist Church in Cypress Station in May 2019 after he confessed to other pastors that he had inappropriately touched the girl, which “escalated to sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week,” according to court records.
“Several other pastors came forward to tell authorities what was going on after this man confessed to them, and we applaud those people of conscience,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “This man, who had risen to a position of authority in the church, turned a child into a victim and violated his community’s trust. The victim and his community deserved, and got justice.”
Bratton was with Grace Family Baptist Church for at least a decade, according to one church official.