A supposed pastor and his wife have been arrested after first responders discovered eight disabled adults were being held against their will, in the basement of the couples rental property in Griffin, Georgia.
Curtis Keith Bankston, 55, and his wife Sophia Simm-Bankston, 56, had been running a “group home” for 14 months out of their home under the guise of being a church called the One Step of Faith 2nd Chance.
The Griffin Fire Department responded to a Jan. 13 call about someone having a seizure at a church on the 100 block of Valley Road.
First responders were forced to enter through a window to reach the patient in the basement because all the doors had been dead-bolted shut.
Authorities discovered eight people between the ages of 25-65 in the basement. All eight have mental or physical disabilities, or both, according to authorities.
The financials, medications, and benefits of the victims were all handled by the Bankston’s and investigators determined that medication and care were sometimes withheld by the Bankstons.
The couple has been charged with multiple counts of false imprisonment with possible additional charges pending.
The eight individuals have been relocated by the Georgia DHS.