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Pastor arrested and accused of child sex crimes in Johnston County, officials say

Pastor accused of statutory rape

Reverend Stephen Morris was arrested by Johnston County Sheriff's deputies Friday July 5, 2019 on 10 felony counts, including five counts of statutory rape and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a child between June 2013 and June 2014.
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Reverend Stephen Morris was arrested by Johnston County Sheriff's deputies Friday July 5, 2019 on 10 felony counts, including five counts of statutory rape and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a child between June 2013 and June 2014.

A pastor at a Johnston County church is accused of sex crimes against a 13-year-old girl, officials say.

The Rev. Stephen Arthur Morris, 61, is charged with five counts each of statutory rape/sex offense and indecent liberties with a child, according to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested Friday.

He is accused of committing crimes against the teenager from 2013 to 2014, according to Capt. Jeff Caldwell, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Morris led Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church in Four Oaks and is now “off the job,” reports ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

The News & Observer reached out to Morris’ church on Tuesday morning, and calls went unanswered.

Morris’ bail was set at $2.5 million, Caldwell said. He is scheduled to appear in court July 25.

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