SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Telling the victims it was part of a "healing process" and "private prayer", a Sumter church minister has been charged with sexually assaulting three female church members.
Officials say 58-year-old Larry Durant was released on $120,000 bond after a hearing Saturday morning.
According to the Sumter Police Department, Durant was charged with two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, third degree criminal sexual conduct, and forgery.
Police began looking into allegations against the minister after reports from the victims and their families indicated he was using his position to coerce the victims into having sex with him.
The victims told investigators that the incidents took place multiple times between 2011 and 2013 at Word International Ministry facilities on Manning Avenue and North Guignard Drive and the Durant's home.
Sumter Police say Durant also forged the name of the grandmother of one of his victims on a quit claim deed and filed it with the county.
Police believe there may be other victims out there.
Durant is currently being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center pending a bond hearing.
Anyone with information pertaining to these crimes is asked to contact the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2717 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.