South Carolina Minister Sexually Abused Girls, Called It “Healing”

June 26, 2013  |  
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Church is supposed to be a place where children can go to learn important values, but it’s become something much uglier for the girls abused by 58-year-old minister Larry DuRant. A minister at Word International Ministries in Sumter, South Carolina, DuRant allegedly used his influence with young girls to sexually abuse them.

Local news station WLTX.com reports,

According to court documents, as early as 2011, Durant offered private prayer session where he performed sex acts to heal the victims from “liking females, contracting sexual diseases or becoming pregnant early.”

The abuse came to light when after a child and parent went to the police with the girl’s story. Police officials say given the nature of the situation—a trusted community figure with literally the fear of God on his side—it’s likely more victims will come forward. They believe the abuses happened over the course of two years.

Though complaints from girls were brought to the police’s attention in 2011, it seems like DuRant past isn’t very godly, either. In the 1980s and 90s was charged with distribution of marijuana and sale of alcohol to a minor. He has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor second degree (ages 11-14 years old) and four counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree. DuRant is currently out on bond.

This story is horrifying, given the amount of trust people place in their places of worship. It’s supposed to be a safe place but with a monster like this preacher running around, it becomes a hellish place for those seeking refuge and guidance. World International Ministries’ story is a sad, sick one and we hope the community can slowly begin to heal.

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