Minister accused of sexually assaulting minors, calling it "private prayer"

Larry Durant/Sumter Lee Regional Detention Center

A Sumter church minister has been arrested for sexually assaulting three female church members.

Sumter police charged Larry Durant, 58, with two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2nd degree (between the age of 11-14 years old) and four counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd degree.

Detectives say they had been investigating reports from the victims and victims' family that Durant had coerced the victims into sexual intercourse using his position in the church and convincing them that it was part of a "healing process" and "private prayer," according to a press release from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

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

Durant is also charged with forgery after allegedly forging the name of one of the victim's grandmother on a Quit Claim Deed and filed it with the Sumter County Register of Deeds. The forgery occurred after the sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement.

Durant is currently being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center pending a bond hearing.