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Sandy Springs pastor arrested in Forsyth County for alleged child molestation
Benjamin August Harter 1 20190904
Benjamin August Harter

Forsyth County authorities have arrested the pastor of an Atlanta area church on a charge of alleged child molestation.

Benjamin “Gus” Harter, 80, pastor of Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, was taken into custody by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Aug. 30, at his home on Westchester Place in southwest Forsyth.

On Tuesday, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater told the Forsyth County News that accusations against Harter arose on Aug. 25. Detectives found “ample probable cause” to arrest Harter based on an initial investigation, Rainwater said.

Rainwater said the case is still under investigation by the sheriff’s office and more charges could follow, but currently no further information can be released on the accusations made against Harter.

Harter appeared before Associate Magistrate Judge Erin H. Fowler on Saturday and was denied bond on one count of felony child molestation.

He is currently being held in the Forsyth County Jail under no bond.

According to the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church website, before becoming pastor of the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church in 2014, Harter led congregations in Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Atlanta and the Philippines.

Attempts to reach Harter’s legal representative for comment were unsuccessful as of Tuesday afternoon.