Local News

Youth ministers face sex charges

Posted October 22, 2010 11:36 a.m. EDT
Updated October 22, 2010 1:33 p.m. EDT

— Two youth ministers have been charged with sex crimes involving 14-year-old girls, authorities said Friday.

Brandon Christopher Bradley, 26, of 635 Bessemer Circle in Fayetteville, was charged with seven counts of statutory rape, five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one count each of sexual offense and crimes against nature.

He was being held Friday in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $485,000 bond, pending a Monday afternoon court hearing.

Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office allege that Bradley engaged in sexual activities with two 14-year-olds in his home between August and October 2008. They allege that he forced the girls to perform sexual acts with him against their will.

Bradley worked as a youth minister at Word of God Ministries at the time of the alleged offenses, said Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. She said she didn't know if the girls attended the church.

Meanwhile, Guilford County deputies on Thursday arrested a youth minister from Sampson County who they said drove to Greensboro to have sex with an underage girl.

Thomas Lee Elliott, 40, of 798 Butler Island Road in Roseboro, was charged with soliciting a minor over the Internet for a sexual act.

A Guilford County deputy posing as a 14-year-old girl had been chatting with Elliott online since early September, authorities said, and Elliott arranged to meet the girl for sex.

Elliott works at Autryville Baptist Church.