Former Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church Pastor Charged with Additional Sex Crimes
A former pastor for Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church in Four Oaks has been arrested a second time on allegations of child sexual abuse. 61-year-old Rev. Stephen Arthur Morris was first arrested in July 2019 for sexually abusing one victim and was arrested a second time on October 9 on additional charges involving two more underage victims.
Morris resigned from his position as pastor on July 5, the same day as his arrest. He posted bail on July 26th and was on house arrest when he was arrested last week.
The 12 new charges involve the first victim and two others. Eight of the 12 new charges involve the first victim and are based on alleged abuse from 2013 and 2014. The two additional victims have reported that Morris solicited nude photos from them in 2008, when they were 9 and 11 years old.
Morris now faces a total of 26 felony charges, including:
- 11 counts of statutory rape,
- 11 counts of indecent liberties with a minor,
- 2 counts of attempted indecent liberties with a minor,
- 1 count of attempted first-degree sexual exploitation, and
- 1 count of solicitation of another to commit sexual exploitation of a minor.
Morris was booked and held at the Johnson County Jail.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
Legal Options For Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse
Victims of sexual abuse by pastors and other church clergy members deserve justice. Here are some thoughts on the legal options available to these victims from attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com:
Baptist churches and other religious organizations throughout the country have been plagued with widespread reports of clergy members sexually abusing young congregation members. Sexual predators often seek out positions in religious organizations and other fields that involve working from positions of trust. These predators then exploit the trust of their congregation members to commit heinous crimes.
Church leadership must stay aware of the threat that sexual predators pose to their congregations and must do everything in their power to protect congregation members from these predators. When a clergy member is charged with sex crimes, the church should be investigated to determine if their negligence played a role in enabling the abuse.
In clergy sex abuse cases that involve negligence, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the church.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a pastor or another clergy member, you can learn more about your family’s legal options for finding justice by contacting our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers for a free consultation.
Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church in Four Oaks, NC
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