A local minister accused of having sex with an underage girl in 2010 will remain under house arrest while awaiting trial.
In a bond hearing in General Sessions Court Monday afternoon, Judge John C. Hayes of York set bond for Stephen Douglas Berry at $50,000. Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault said shortly after Hayes issued his order, Berry’s family put up the $50,000 cash bond to secure his release.
Hayes also ordered Berry placed under house arrest until his trial which has yet to be scheduled. In his order, Hayes stated Berry may only leave home to attend church, for medical appointments or to meet with his attorney. He also ordered Berry to have no contact with his alleged victim or her family.
Berry, 848 Bob Little Road, Jonesville, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with criminal sexual conduct with a minor second degree.
The inicident report states authorities were contacted in late March about a juvenile who said she’d been the victim of sexual assault. In a written statement, the victim said Berry had sex with her more than one and in different locations. The warrant for Berry’s arrest states he had sex with the victim — who was 15 at the time — between May 2010 and Nov. 2010.
Berry, who was taken into custody March 22, was investigated by the sheriff’s office earlier this year after an adult woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Sheriff David Taylor said the woman declined to press charges and so the investigation was closed.
During the period he is accused of having sex with the girl, Berry was employed as an associate pastor at New Life Baptist Church. He was not employed at the church at the time of his arrest, having resigned in February at the behest of its Board of Deacons after the church learned of the investigation into the accusation made by the adult woman.