Police in Georgia, arrested a pastor and his wife after 8 people with disabilities, both physically and mentally, were found in the basement of their home.
Pastor and wife arrested after keeping 8 people with disabilities locked in a basement
The discovery occurred when the emergency team received a call because a person was convulsing in the place. Upon arriving at the home of Pastor Curtis Keth Bankston and Sophia Simm-Bankston, the first responders entered through a window, as the basement door was locked.
As it became known, the One Step of Faith 2nd Chance organization, run by the couple, was registered for non-profit purposes in 2020, but did not receive the relevant license from the authorities to operate. However, the Bankston family overlooked this and began caring for people with disabilities.
The people found ranged from 25 to 65 years old
Both the pastor and his wife were arrested on charges of running an unlicensed group home, false imprisonment, controlling the finances of those affected, and denying medical care and medication to people with disabilities.
The couple’s defense attorney, Dexter Wimbish, assures that none of the people in the place were against their will and that the pastor was “following God’s call to help those most in need”.
Regarding the illegal detention, the lawyer affirmed that all the people could enter and leave the premises at any time they wanted, as long as they returned before 8 p.m., when the door was closed.
Georgia pastor Curtis Bankston and his wife were arrested in Griffin after police found 8 people with various disabilities locked in their basement with no way to escape.
The couple controlled their captives’ finances and public benefits. pic.twitter.com/r1yM7HbzES
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) January 23, 2022