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Former Johnston pastor faces more charges

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SMITHFIELD — The former pastor of Oliver’s Grove Baptist Church near Four Oaks faces more sex-related charges.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office on Friday charged the Rev. Steve Morris with six counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges stem from a search of computers deputies seized when they arrested him last year on charges of sexual assault.

On June 28, an 18-year-old told the Sheriff’s Office that Morris began sexually assaulting her when she was 13. Later that year, two more women came forward to say Morris assaulted them when they were teens.

Morris has been in jail since last year awaiting trial. With the latest charges, his bond stands at $800,000.