A San Bernardino pastor was recently taken into custody under suspicion of molesting two boys. The case involves two victims who were allegedly abused by the pastor while they were members of the church. The abuse is believed to have begun more than a decade ago.
The Pastor – 54-year-old Stephen Howard of Fontana – was arrested Thursday afternoon after two alleged victims stepped forward and an investigation was launched. Authorities have stated that Howard was the pastor of the Muscoy United Methodist Church in San Bernardino. According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Howard is being charged with lewd acts with a child under 14 and oral copulation and sodomy with a minor under 18.
The alleged victims previously attended the San Bernardino church and are now 14 and 23 years old. While attending the church, the victims alleged that Howard gave them money in exchange for the sexual abuse. The 23-year-old also told investigators that the abuse had started when he was 9. Howard had been lead pastor at Muscoy United Methodist since 2001, and was previously a youth director at an Ontario Church from 1989 to 2001. Howard is currently being held on $250,000 bail at the Central Detention Center, and authorities are encouraging other possible victims or anyone with information about the case to step forward.
The Senators (Ret.) Firm provides compassionate, experienced representation to victims and families affected by sexual abuse, including sexual abuse by clergy. If you or someone you know would like more information about pursuing a sexual abuse claim, please call (949) 557-5800 to request a consultation.