Youth minister charged with statutory rape, molestation

A Monroe youth minister faces 58 additional charges for a sexual relationship authorities say he had with a 16-year-old girl who was a member of his church, the Athens Banner-Herald reports.

Oconee County authorities charged Brian Richard Gray, 32, of Winder with child molestation and statutory rape last month. Now Barrow County authorities have filed additional charges relating to the same alleged victim.

"Their relationship started in the youth group in Monroe in Walton County, but we found that the actual sexual acts took place in Barrow County," Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith told the paper. "We executed a search warrant on his house and found evidence that corroborated the fact he brought her to his house."

Gray, who was youth minister at Monroe Church of Christ, began having sex with the Oconee County girl last December when she was 15 and the relationship continued through September, authorities say. Gray is accused of driving the girl to his house for sex at least three times a week, according to authorities.

The Barrow County Sheriff's Office charged Gray with 17 counts each of statutory rape, child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes; two counts of aggravated sexual battery, four counts of sexual battery and one count of sodomy.

Another member of the youth group told authorities she too had sex with Gray, the paper reports, but the girl was 17 at the time so no charges were filed.