Pastor accused of several years of child sex abuse

Suspect is pastor of Muscoy United Methodist Church in San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. - A 54 year old pastor of Muscoy United Methodist Church in San Bernardino has been arrested after being accused of child molestation.

Authorities said Stephen Howard was taken into custody on Thursday evening on multiple charges of lewd acts with a child. The abuse allegedly took place in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana.

The victims are 14 and 23 years old and previously attended the Muscoy Methodist Church, where Howard has been the lead pastor since 2001, police said in a statement. 

The 23 year old victim told police the abuse began when he was nine years old and continued into adulthood. Both victims said Howard was sexually abusing them in exchange for money.

The Crimes Against Children Detail was brought in to assume the investigation on March 10th. Howard was booked at the Central Detention Center and is being held on $250,000 bond.

Authorities said Howard was also the youth director at a United Methodist Church in Ontario from 1989 to 2001.

Anyone with information about this case can remain anonymous by calling the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-782-7463.

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