A jury decided Larry DuRant used his position of power in the church to coerce a teen into sexual activity
A Sumter pastor was found guilty of using his position in the church to sexually assault a teenage girl and now faces 20 years in prison.
A Sumter County jury found Larry DuRant, 61, of Sumter guilty of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to a news release from S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office.
Judge Roger Young sentenced DuRant to 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence.
DuRant, pastor of Word International Ministries at 1010 N. Guignard Drive, used his position of authority as a pastor to sexually assault a minor, the release stated.
DuRant was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old female member of his church on multiple occasions.
The victim testified in court, along with three other teens ranging in age from 13 to 18 who say they were assaulted in a similar fashion under the guise of religious reasons between December 2012 and May 2013.
Family members told police DuRant coerced victims into having sex with him several times between 2011 and 2013, convincing the girls it was part of the “healing process” and “private prayer.”
Sumter police said the incidents occurred at the church and at the pastor’s residence.
The S.C. Secretary of State’s database showed Durant registered Word International Ministries in July of 1999. The nonprofit’s status was listed as in “good standing” in the database.