(The AEGIS Alliance) – A pastor in Georgia has been apprehended and is facing charges of false imprisonment after authorities found 8 individuals, each of them either psychologically or physically disabled, locked inside the basement of his residence.
Curtis Bankston as well as his age 54 spouse Sophie are implicated in operating “an unlicensed group home or personal care facility under the guise of a church known as One Step of Faith Second Chance,” the Griffin City police department said.
The cops found out about the locked-up people on the morning of January 13 following firefighters being contacted concerning a house along Valley Road to assist paramedics in treating a resident who suffered a seizure.
When firefighters showed up at the scene at about 7 a.m., first responders uncovered a door leading into the basement had been locked shut with a dead-bolt. This resulted in them needing to force their way in by means of a home window to reach the suffering patient, police said.
Cops with the Griffin City police department were additionally phoned into the scene. An initial investigation uncovered “as many as eight people resided in the basement of this residence and they were ‘locked in’ at certain times by the ‘caretakers.’”
Police pointed out the man and wife were renting the home for 14 months, utilizing the basement as a treatment center for people, as well as “essentially imprisoned them against their will.” In an occasion of an emergency situation, the victims wouldn’t have had the ability to leave the property.
The duo additionally took control over the victims’ financial resources, and medicine in addition to public benefits.
“It is both frightening and disgusting to see the degree to which these individuals have been taken advantage of by people who were in a position of trust,” police stated in a news release.
All of the people impacted have been placed by the Georgia Department of Human Services into appropriate treatment and housing.
Bankston continued to be locked up in the Spalding County Jail as of Thursday. Police mentioned charges against his spouse are soon to come, along with more charges anticipated for each of them.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.