Former Norwalk youth minister charged with sexually assaulting boys in Bridgeport

Bernard

Bernard

Contributed photo /

BRIDGEPORT — A former youth minister, accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting two young boys at a Norwalk church, was charged Friday with sexually assaulting the two boys at various locations in Bridgeport.

Jean Bernard, of Shelton, who worked as the youth minister at Mont Des Oliviers Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norwalk, was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of risk of injury to a child and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault.

These charges are in addition to charges Bernard faces from his arrest by Norwalk police in February. At that time he was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to a minor and one count of tampering with a witness.

Dressed in a bright-orange prison jumpsuit, Bernard, 45, made no comment as he was led, handcuffed, before Superior Court Judge William Holden.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Nicholas Bove urged the judge to set a high bond for Bernard because of the seriousness of the allegations.

Holden agreed and ordered Bernard held in lieu of $800,000 bond. He continued the case to Aug. 15.

Bernard is accused of sexually assaulting the two boys, now aged 10 and 12, repeatedly over the course of several years after meeting them through the church.

In the newest arrest warrant affidavit, he is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the 10-year-old boy at the boy’s home in Bridgeport and in the parking lot behind Madison School.

The boy later told police that Bernard told him he would kill him, his sibling and his father if the boy told anyone what Bernard had done to him, the affidavit states.

The affidavit states that Bernard sexually assaulted the 12-year-old boy in the parking lot of a Sylvan Avenue supermarket in Bridgeport.

The affidavit also states that after the allegations regarding the 10-year-old boy were made public, the 12-year-old boy’s mother asked her son if he had been sexually assaulted by Bernard but the boy denied it.

However, later during a church service where the pastor announced to the congregation that Bernard was accused of sexual assault, the affidavit states that the 12-year-old suddenly stood up in front of the congregation and disclosed that he too had been assaulted by Bernard.

No one answered the phone for comment at the East Avenue church on Friday.