Pastor charged with false imprisonment after 8 people with disabilities were found locked in his basement
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A Georgia pastor has been charged with false imprisonment after police found eight people trapped in his home's basement, The Telegraph reports.

Curtis Keith Bankston and his wife, Sophia Simm-Bankston were allegedly running an unlicensed “group home” for people with disabilities, police say. The people were discovered when emergency services responded to a report of someone have a seizure at the home.

“Personnel noticed the entry door to the basement was double keyed (dead bolted), and access had to be gained by climbing through a window to reach the patient,” police said. “Preliminary information indicated as many as eight individuals resided in the basement ... and that they were ‘locked in’ at certain times by the ‘caretakers.’”

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The home's basement was being used “as a personal care home for the individuals, which essentially imprisoned them against their will,” police said, adding that the eight individuals were identified as “mentally and/or physically disabled" and their living situation was an "extreme hazard" due to their inability to escape the basement in an emergency.

“These individuals had been denied their medications and, in some cases, medical care,” police said.

The people have been placed “into suitable care and housing” by the state’s Department of Human Services, according to police.

“It is both frightening and disgusting to see the degree to which these individuals have been taken advantage of by people who were in a position of trust,” police officials said in the release.

“The City of Griffin, along with D.H.S., will continue to use any resources available to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”