Mother prays 'to remove bad thoughts' with pastor - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mother prays 'to remove bad thoughts' with pastor accused of sexually abusing teen

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Michael Bryant, 48, was taken into custody at a gas station on Hickory Hill Road and Knight Arnold Road after a warrant for his arrest was issued. Michael Bryant, 48, was taken into custody at a gas station on Hickory Hill Road and Knight Arnold Road after a warrant for his arrest was issued.
District Attorney Amy Weirich says anyone who knows a teenager is a victim of sexual battery is obligated to report it to authorities. District Attorney Amy Weirich says anyone who knows a teenager is a victim of sexual battery is obligated to report it to authorities.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A pastor is under arrest, accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old on and off for the past two years.

Michael Bryant, 48, was taken into custody at a gas station on Hickory Hill Road and Knight Arnold Road after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Bryant is the pastor at Hour of Restoration COGIC.

According to the police affidavit, the teen said Bryant has been touching her inappropriately at least two to three times a week for the last two years. The affidavit says that the last time she says Bryant touched her was Monday, which is the same day the abuse was reported to police.

Police say in the affidavit that the alleged victim told an adult about the abuse a year ago, but it went unreported until Monday. They didn't go to authorities with the case because both the pastor and the teen's mother decided they would pray that the lord would remove these thoughts from Bryant's head.

District Attorney Amy Weirich says anyone who knows a teenager is a victim of sexual battery is obligated to report it to authorities.

"We all have a responsibility to protect our kids. You can be prosecuted and we have done that before," she said. 

Michael Bryant is locked up at 201 Poplar on a $1 million bond.

Pastor Michael Bryant pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday during his arraignment on sexual battery charges.

"There are some pretty serious charges and everybody in the family is devastated, but, you know, we'll work through them, and we'll work through the case," said Bryant's attorney Arthur Home. "Sexual battery by an authority figure is a C felony that carries 3 to 15 years."

The 16 year-old is now in the custody of the aunt. Bryant goes back to court on December 23.

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