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Additional charges filed against Sandy Springs pastor accused of child molestation
Benjamin August Harter 1 20190904
Benjamin August Harter

New charges have been filed against a Sandy Springs pastor who was arrested in Forsyth County in early September on a charge of child molestation.

Benjamin “Gus” Harter, 80, pastor of Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, now faces three counts of felony child molestation in Forsyth County, according to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, .

Harter was taken into custody at his home on Westchester Place in southwest Forsyth on Friday, Aug. 30 after an initial investigation into accusations made against him gave detectives “ample probable cause” to secure warrants for his arrest.

New charges were filed over the last month when two additional alleged victims were identified by detectives, Rainwater said.

Beyond the local sheriff’s office investigation, Rainwater said that the United States Department of Homeland Security has also opened an investigation into Harter’s “overseas travel and adoptions.”

A spokesperson from the United States Department of Homeland Security said in an email to the Forsyth County News that they could not comment on the existence or circumstances of an investigation.

According to a page of the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church website which has since been removed, Harter led congregations in Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Atlanta and the Philippines before becoming pastor of the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in 2014.

Attempts to reach Harter’s legal representative for comment were unsuccessful as of Wednesday evening.

Harter is being held in the Forsyth County Jail under a bond of $82,520, according to jail records.