MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man who preaches across the country, including in Tennessee, is behind bars for alleged child rape.
Benjamin Garlick faces 12 charges, including five counts of aggravated rape of a child 8 years old or younger and five counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor under the age of 13.
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Garlick’s wife, Shaantal, was also charged with facilitation and aggravated child neglect.
Murfreesboro Police told News 2, as of Sept. 20, the matter is still under investigation, so it is unclear on the number of victims, how Garlick knew them, or when the alleged rapes occurred.
Garlick was indicted on Sept. 12 and remains in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on a $750,000 bond.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office told News 2 Garlick’s wife, Shaantal, bonded out two days after she was booked in jail on a $75,000 bond.
News 2 reached out to a Murfreesboro pastor who wished to remain anonymous. He told News 2 that he’s known Garlick since he was a child. He said he is a father with a role model family.
He told News 2 Garlick organized conferences across the country and focused on connecting with the Spanish community.
He said he recently visited Garlick in jail and is not ready to go on camera until Garlick is proven guilty.
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News 2 also reached out to a church that offers bilingual services out of Lenoir City. They said Garlick speaks at the church at least once a year.