Sumter, SC – Police say 58-year-old Larry Durant used his position as a pastor at Word International Ministries to get close to the three young females he sexually assaulted.
According to court documents, police were alerted to Durant’s activities in May after a parent got involved and had a conversation with one of Durant’s alleged victims. They then went to law enforcement with their claims and an investigation began.
That investigation would reveal that, as early as 2011, Durant offered private prayer sessions with young girls where he performed sex acts to heal them from “liking females, contracting sexual diseases or becoming pregnant early.”
So far they have identified three victims, one as young as 11-years-old. One of the victims claims that when she was 18, Durant had sex with her at his home and told her it was to stop her from “liking females”. She said DuRant told her if she told anyone about their private prayer session, she would be going “against God’s will”.
Police believe that there are more victims out there and are asking members of the church’s congregation to talk to their children. Anyone with any information has been asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
“The manner in which he lured them in, we feel that at some level there’s a strong potential that there may be other victims we’re talking about a span of, right now, over two year,” Deputy Chief Alvin Holston with Sumter Police said. “It appeared that he may have had a routine on gaining the trust and the private company of some of the juveniles.”
Luckily our society looks at the rape of a woman less favorably than God does, so instead paying 50 pieces of silver to the victims’ fathers, Durant was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor second degree and four counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree.