Sexual Violence Against Young Haitian Females

Bernadette - May 22 2012, 5:04 PM

Gaston County, NC-- A former Gaston County pastor was denied bond after he pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing Haitian girls while running a ministry in Haiti.

Indictments read in federal court on Monday stated that Larry Michael Bollinger, 66 traveled to Haiti to engage in sexual conduct with a girl younger than 18 years old.

The indictment was handed up last week against Bollinger, but according to WBTV in Charlotte new information was released during the hearing today.

According to investigators, Bollinger was in Haiti working as the director of the Hope House, which provided food, shelter and schooling for Haitian children.

And when four young girls from Port au Prince came to the Hope House for help, investigators said Bollinger sexually abused the young girls, trading them help for sexual favors.

The incidents allegedly occurred in Haiti between August 1 and November 18 of 2009.

Bollinger denied the allegations in court on Monday and entered a plea of not guilty.

About 25-30 from Bollinger's church and his wife were in court to support him. Bollinger's two adult children did not appear to be in court, according to WBTV.

Bollinger was the Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

The current Pastor also attended the court hearing on Bollinger's behalf.

Investigators say the allegations came to light when Bollinger went to visit his psychotherapist to seek treatment for sex addition.

He reportedly told his therapist about the young girls in Haiti, which legally had to be reported to federal authorities.

WBTV learned that investigators began looking into the allegations, but Haiti was hit by a massive deadly earthquake just weeks after Bollinger returned home. The disaster slowed investigators, who weren't even sure if the reported victims had survived the earthquake.

The victims were eventually located and gave their side of the story.

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