Georgia Pastor, and His Wife, Arrested After Police Find Eight People Locked in Their Basement!
A Georgia Pastor has been arrested after law officials say they found up to eight people locked in his basement!
Here are the details of the case according to Fox 5:
The Griffin, Georgia Fire department emergency assistance crew responded to a report of a patient having a seizure at a so-called church on the 100 block of Valley Road on Jan. 13.
When they got to the location, fire crews and emergency medical services found the entrance to the basement was dead-bolted and they had to climb through a window to reach the patient.
In the basement, authorities found as many as eight people who were mentally or physically disabled and had been "locked in" at times by their "caretakers," officials said.
According to investigators, Curtis Keith Bankston and Sophia Simms-Bankston had been leasing the home for around 14 months and had been operating the unlicensed facility under the appearance of a church called the One Step of Faith 2nd Chance.
After searching the location, officials say they found that Bankston, who claimed to be a pastor, and his wife were in control of the individuals' finances, benefits, and medications. Investigators claim the couple would deny the individuals their medication and medical care in some cases.
"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," the City of Griffin Police Department told FOX 5 in a statement.
Bankston and his wife, 56-year-old Sophia Simms-Bankston, have both been charged with false imprisonment and, according to Georgia authorities, more charges could be pending.
We are going to closely follow this case and report any changes on whether or not the charges stick, if more or added or if they are dismissed altogether.
Legally, those accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty.