Pastor accused of sexually assaulting teen during `private sessi - - Columbia, South Carolina

Pastor accused of sexually assaulting teen during `private sessions of prayer`

Larry Durant (Source: Sumter Police Department) Larry Durant (Source: Sumter Police Department)

A Sumter minister charged in June 2013 in connection with the alleged sexual assault of female church members and other crimes, faces additional charges after another alleged victim came forward.

Larry Durant, 59, of Four Bridges Road, was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct-3rd degree by the Sumter Police Department after turning himself in Tuesday morning.

Durant is pastor of Word International Ministries, which has facilities in Sumter and Bishopville.

The most recent charges involve a 16-year-old girl, according to police. The teen, who attends the church where Durant is a pastor, told police she was sexually assaulted during "private sessions of prayer."

The alleged victim said the incidents happened at the church's Manning Avenue and Guignard Drive locations between November 2012 and April 2013.

Durant was first arrested in June 2013 for the alleged sexual assault of three female church members. He was charged at that time with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor-2nd degree and four counts of criminal sexual conduct-3rd degree.

Detectives said they had been investigating reports from the alleged victims their family members that Durant had coerced them into sexual intercourse using his position in the church and convincing them that it was part of a "healing process" and "private prayer."

The alleged victims indicated to law enforcement that the incidents took place at Word International Ministry facilities on Manning Avenue and North Guignard Drive. According to police, the victims also said incidents occurred at the pastor's residence on Four Bridges Road on multiple occasions from 2011 to 2013.

Durant was also charged with forgery after allegedly forging the name of an alleged victim's grandmother on a Quit Claim Deed and filing it with the Sumter County Register of Deeds. The
forgery occurred after the alleged sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement, police said.

The Sumter County Sheriff Office at the time also charged Durant with criminal sexual conduct for incidents that were reported to have occurred at his residence.

Police encourage any possible victims to come forward. Anyone with information pertaining to these alleged crimes is asked to contact the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2717 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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