Sunday, November 14, 2010

More charges

Minister may face more charges
Local youth pastor accused of statutory rape of church member, 15

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Brian Richard Gray, shown in a booking photo from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, is charged with statutory rape, child molestation and burglary.

.Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:01 am | Updated: 8:43 pm, Sat Nov 13, 2010.

From staff reports | 0 comments

WATKINSVILLE — Oconee County officials are taking their time in the investigation of a Monroe youth pastor charged with sex crimes.

Brian Richard Gray was being detained without bond at week’s end in the Oconee County jail. He was arrested Wednesday in Notasulga, Ala., and charged with one count each of child molestation, statutory rape and burglary.

Gray, 32, of 1421 Langdon Park Court, Winder, is the youth minister at Monroe Church of Christ. Oconee County sheriff’s investigators last month learned of allegations Gray was involved in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl between December 2009 and September.

The teenager and her family attend the church on North Broad Street. Church leaders have not returned calls for comment and no one was at the church when the story broke last week.

Sheriff Scott Berry said his department has been working on the case for about two weeks. Berry said “someone close to the case” reported the alleged sexual relationship to a medical professional.

Medical professionals, by law, must report sexual abuse cases. In this case, the state Division of Family and Children Services took the report and notified the sheriff’s office.

Berry said his office and the district attorney will review evidence “and charge it appropriately.” Berry added he does expect more charges to be forthcoming. In the meantime, the sheriff said his department will take its time to do a thorough job in investigating.

Barrow County deputies served a search warrant on Gray’s home, and Berry said his department has briefed Walton County authorities as well.

People with additional information may call Oconee investigators Andy Corbin or Guy Brown at 706-769-5665.

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