Curtis Bankston, a Griffin, Georgia pastor, was arrested for keeping eight disabled individuals in his basement and at times locking them in.
According to Griffin police, the pastor and his wife were using their home as an unlicensed group home.
Police began their investigation last week when Griffin firefighters responded to a person having a seizure at the residence.
They noticed the door to the basement was dead-bolted, and they had to go through a window to gain access to the basement to get to the patient.
Based on what they saw inside the basement, they contacted the police.
Police found eight individuals, ranging in age from 23 to 65, most mentally or physically disabled, and not able to care for themselves.
Curtis Bankston confirmed that he has a website for his church One Step Of Faith Ministries Incorporated, and he said at his home he runs One Step Of Faith 2nd Chance, an extension of his church.
Griffin police describe One Step Of Faith 2nd Chance as an unlicensed group home or personal care facility.
A search warrant of the residence revealed Bankston was assisted by his wife locking individuals in their basement.
Police say the couple has leased the home for over a year, they controlled the individuals’ finances, and at times denied them medication and medical care.
Neighbor Kim Brooks said she and other neighbors had concerns about what was going on at the Bankston’s residence.
You can tell there were more people there than probably should be there.
Just even based on the amount of trash they had every week.
She recalled one night a man with a walker came to her door looking for Bankston’s home. She helped him get there and she remembers he said he had to enter the home from the back and he walked around, which seemed strange to her.
It makes me sad that he could’ve been in a situation where he was not being taken care of.
Most of the people staying at the Bankston residence were wards of the state.
All of them have been placed in new facilities, according to the state.
Police say charges may be coming for Bankston’s wife.
Curtis Bankston is out of jail, and he plans to interview with his attorney by his side in the near future.
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Hopefully, the new facilities that the individuals have been placed in are taking good care of them.