Ex-pastor gets 15 years for having sex with girl - FOX Carolina 21

Ex-pastor gets 15 years for having sex with girl

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UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The former pastor of a Union church was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday after he was convicted of having sex with a teen girl.

On Feb. 22, 2011, 38-year-old Stephen Berry, of Jonesville, was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He was found guilty of that charge at the conclusion of a four-day trial.

According to an incident report from the Union County Sheriff's Office, a person at Union County High School contacted investigators about the assault.

The report said the girl, who was 15 at the time, told investigators that between May and November 2010, Berry had sex with her several times at various locations. She also told investigators that he molested her.

New Life Baptist Church, in Union, said that Berry resigned from his position as associate pastor on Feb. 2, 2011. The church said it had never received any complaints about Berry before these allegations.

Berry must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. He must also register as a sex offender.

About a month after his first arrest, Berry was jailed a second time and charged with lewd act on a minor. Prosecutors said that charge is still pending.

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