We trust our religious leaders to help guide us in our faith. Most of them do, but there are some pastors and priests that violate this trust and sexually abuse parishioners. For victims, coming forward about the abuse is incredibly difficult, which means justice is almost never obtained. Justice will be served, however, for one victim after a pastor confessed to sexually abusing a minor.
Stephen Bratton worked as a pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church for over ten years. On May 16, 2019, Bratton confessed to other pastors that he sexually abused a girl from 2013 until 2018, when she turned 18 years old. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bratton after the report, and he was excommunicated from the church immediately after confessing to committing abuse. In his first court appearance after his arrest, his bond conditions were set and he was prohibited from going anywhere children will be present, like parks and schools. If convicted, Bratton could serve 25 years to life in prison.
Victims Deserve Justice
It has taken many years for society to take reports of clergy abuse seriously. The state of Texas is fighting clergy abuse with the arrest of a Houston area pastor and a search of The Catholic Diocese of Dallas. It’s commendable Texans can turn to law enforcement to help stop clergy abuse, but criminal proceedings often fall short of giving a victim justice and of taking care of their ongoing physical and emotional needs. Clergy abuse victims can file civil lawsuits against their abusers and the churches that employ them. By pursuing a civil lawsuit, victims can obtain compensation to help pay for therapy and mental health treatment.
At Feldman & Feldman, we’ve represented clergy abuse victims, helping them to get their voices heard. Churches have a responsibility to keep parishioners safe, and when they don’t our Texas clergy abuse attorneys hold them accountable. If you or someone you love suffered clergy abuse, do not wait to call us. We offer free and absolutely confidential consultations. We will listen to your story and let you know what your rights and options are. There is no pressure to work with us, but if you do, we charge no upfront cost and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you obtain compensation. Call us today to talk to an attorney.