CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 17 (UPI) -- A North Carolina pastor has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of having sex with two minors in Haiti.
A bill of indictment was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on Tuesday in the case of Larry Michael Bollinger, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.
The jury found that Bollinger "did knowingly travel … from the United States to Haiti, and engage in illicit sexual conduct" with two minors on two separate occasions in 2009, court documents state.
In 2004, Bollinger, a Lutheran pastor for 33 years, traveled Haiti to work with the Lazarus Project, a predominantly Lutheran ministry that runs a vocational school, a medical clinic and provides other services.
On Wednesday, the Rev. Ron Qualley, coordinator of the Lazarus Project, said Bollinger worked in Haiti for several years as a coordinator.
When the sexual allegations against Bollinger first arose in 2009, "he was immediately removed from that position," said Qualley. "This is not anything we condone."
Qualley said the accusations against Bollinger were shocking, but did not deter the Lazarus Project's mission in Haiti.
"The people of Haiti depend on our good work," he said. "We're trying to do the best we can."
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