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Georgia pastor and his wife arrested after eight people are found allegedly ‘imprisoned’ in the basement


Georgia pastor and his wife arrested after eight people are found allegedly ‘imprisoned’ in the basement

A Georgia pastor is facing false imprisonment charges, along with his wife has disputed the allegations. Griffin Police claim 55-year-old Curtis Bankston, the founder of One Step Faith Ministries, and his wife, Sophia Simms Bankston were using their house as an unlicensed group home, where seven to eight people ranging in age from 23 to 65 were living according to Alive 11. Curtis and his wife is facing false imprisonment charges. Last week on Thursday hours after his wife’s arrest, Curtis joined his lawyer and other pastors for a news conference, denying the allegations.

According to police, majority if not all of the individuals were mentally or physically disabled and could not care for themselves. Last week, Griffin Fire responded to the home on Valley Road for a patient having a seizure. Firefighters discovered the door to the basement was dead-bolted and they needed to go through a window to reach the patient in the basement. The fire department called Griffin Police after seeing what they seen.

After obtaining a search warrant, it was determined Curtis Bankston, with help from his wife, was responsible for locking the individuals in the home’s basement according to police. In a statement, Bankston’s attorney Dexter Wimbish, alleged the reports from police are “fraught with misinformation.”

“First, One Step of Faith 2nd Chance Ministries has not been operating a group home but a Christian Ministry that supplies room and board to individuals who have oftentimes been homeless or wards of the state. The ministry does not control the finances of these individuals but rather their finances are controlled by a personal conservator or financial representative. I personally have copies of those payments,” Wimbish told the news station. At the news conference, Wimbish showed documents that he said proves the Bankstons have been giving the best care to the residents, not profiting off them. At worst simply violated zoning and permitting ordinances for operating a facility out of their home.

“Everybody inside this home was here on their own free will, they were free to come and go as they…

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