SC pastor charged with assaulting 3 church members


SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A Sumter pastor has been charged with sexually assaulting three female members of his church.

Police said Friday that 58-year-old Larry Durant had been arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He also faces four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police say family members told them Durant coerced the victims into having sex with him starting in 2011. Police say the Word International Ministry pastor told the victims the activity was part of the "healing process" and "private prayer."

It wasn't known if Durant had an attorney. He is also charged with forgery after allegedly forging the name of one of the victim's grandmothers on property documents, which he then filed with Sumter County.

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