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Police: Minister Said Sex Acts Would 'Heal' Victims

9:04 AM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- Court documents are revealing addtional information about the claims being made against a Sumter preacher accused of sex assaults.

Police say 58-year-old Larry Durant, a pastor at Word International Ministries in Sumter, used his influence as a minister to get close to the victims.

"We want to make sure there's no more victims out there," Deputy Chief Alvin Holston with Sumter Police said.

"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," Holston said. "It appeared that he may have had a routine on gaining the trust and the private company of some of the juveniles."

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."

"If we take away just the church side of it all, but definitely using his position to encourage or influence others to, I would say, woo them in using his leadership position," he said.

Police also say an alert parent contacted them in May.

"A third party conversation got it rolling and the parent did the right thing by getting involved, having a conversation with the child and then from there they came and visited law enforcement center and we started our investigation about a month ago," Holston said.

Sumter police say this is definitely a teaching moment.

"We're really hoping that by airing this that there will be a perfect opportunity for someone to take a minute, to think about some occasions or situations that may have seemed odd and asked questions of their children just to see if everything is OK," he said.

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