Investigation Continues Into Accused Pastor Abuse
(Memphis) Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich wouldn’t confirm if others could be charged in a sexual assault case against a Memphis COGIC Pastor.
Michael Bryant was charged Wednesday for Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure after police said he fondled and exposed himself to an underage family member.
In the affidavit, investigators reported that the victim told her mother about the abuse a year ago.
However, the affidavit said the mother never turned the information “ over to authorities because both Pastor Bryant and the mother decided they would pray that the Lord remove these thoughts from his head.”
“In the state of Tennessee, every adult has the duty under the law if they suspect that a child is being abused,” said General Weirich.
In the past, school officials have faced misdemeanor charges for not reporting a fight to police. The charge required fines.
But Weirich said the charges could be different for every case, depending “on the situation and the facts and evidence involved.”
“All you need is a reasonable suspicion. If a child has told you they are being abused, that’s all you need to know to take the next step,” said Virginia Stallworth, associate director at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.
“If a child is being abused there is anything more important than what we can do as adults to stop that,” added Stallworth.
Weirich said the investigation in this case continues.