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Press Release

January 25, 2018

Former pastor who sexually assaulted four boys sentenced to life in prison


Booking Photo: Stephen Howard

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  – A former San Bernardino pastor who sexually assaulted four boys was sentenced Wednesday to 308 years to life in state prison.

In Oct. 2017, a San Bernardino jury found 58-year-old Stephen James Howard of Fontana guilty of 32 felony counts: 20 counts of Lewd Act Upon a Child, 6 counts of Oral Copulation of a Person Under 16, and 6 counts of Sodomy of a Person Under 18.

“Thanks to the hard work of our prosecutor and the Family Violence Unit support staff, we were able to remove this child predator from our community and put him behind bars where he belongs for the rest of his life,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said.

Prior to his 2014 arrest, Howard had been the lead pastor at the Muscoy United Methodist Church since 2001 and he was the youth director in Ontario from 1989 to 2001.

According to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Bobbie Mann, who prosecuted the case, the molestations for each victim started around the age of 12.

“At the time of his arrest, the victims ranged in age from fourteen to thirty-six,” said Mann. “The defendant was the pastor, mentor, and father figure to all of these victims.  Their bravery in coming forward, and courage in testifying has ensured that this predator will not walk the streets again.”

This case was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Contact: Christopher Lee, Public Affairs Officer (909) 382-3665 or via email at clee@sbcda.org or via text at (909) 782-5559

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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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