A 59-year-old South Carolina pastor was arrested and charged with sexual assault for a second time after a 16-year-old girl in his congregation said he attacked her during “private sessions of prayer,” WACH-TV reported.
Police in Sumter said the alleged victim told them Larry Durant assaulted her at his Word International Ministries building there on multiple occasions between November 2012 and April 2013.
Durant was also arrested in June 2013 and charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct after three other female church members reported Durant coerced them into sex by calling it “private prayer,” both at the church and at his home.
Durant also allegedly forged the name of one of the alleged victims following his June arrest and filed a Quit Claim Feed with the Sumter County Register of Deeds.
WLTX-TV reported that Durant’s criminal record during the 1970s and 1980s also included arrests for selling alcohol to a minor, selling marijuana, grand larceny and burglary. South Carolina state law does not require churches to conduct background checks for their pastors.
[Image: "Young Priest Praying" via Shutterstock]