Police say Sumter pastor had sex with minors, calling it "private prayer"

Larry Durant ,58, is charged with sexually assaulting three members of his church.

SUMTER, SC (WACH) -- A Sumter minister was arrested Friday after Sumter Police say he sexually assaulted three female members of his church.

Sumter Deputy Chief of Police Alvin Holston said Larry Durant, 58, of Four Bridges Road, is charged with two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor, second degree (between the age of 11-14 years old), and four counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, third degree.

Holston said Durant talked the girls into sex by using his position as a pastor and telling them the sex was part of a "healing process" and "private prayer."

Police say the victims told police the incidents took place at Word International Ministry facilities on Manning Avenue and North Guignard Drive. The victims also said some of the acts took place at the Durant's home.

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