Nashville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 13, 2024
Murfreesboro Traveling Pastor and Wife Face New Child Rape Charges; Police Urge Victims to Come ForwardSource: Murfreesboro Police Department

Murfreesboro police are doubling down on their call for potential victims to speak up in the case against a traveling pastor and his wife, both facing serious child rape charges. Benjamin Sean Garlick, 32, a minister known for preaching across the nation, particularly within the Hispanic community, and his wife, Shaantal, 30, are presently entangled in a legal maelstrom following a spate of charges that have come to light surrounding their alleged sexual abuse of minors.

According to WSMV, Benjamin Garlick was slammed with a litany of charges in September but now faces additional ones after a Rutherford County Grand Jury handed down a new indictment in March. The new charges include seven counts of aggravated rape of a child, six counts of aggravated sexual battery, along with two counts each of sexual exploitation of a minor and violation of the child protection act.

His spouse, Shaantal, also faces updated charges. As reported by FOX17, she has been reindicted on two counts each of facilitation of aggravated rape of a child and aggravated child neglect. Shaantal made bond last year but found herself under arrest again last month after the new indictment was served.

Murfreesboro police have been highlighting the urgency for any additional victims to come forward, particularly those from the Hispanic community who may have crossed paths with the Garlicks in their nationwide ministry. Detective James Wilkinson of the Criminal Investigations Division Special Victims Unit can be contacted at 629-201-5612 or by email at [email protected] for those willing to share information that may assist in the prosecution. WKRN also emphasizes the appeal from detectives urging victims to aid in bringing further evidence against the accused to the fore.

For those potentially affected, the call is not merely an announcement—it is a beacon, a chance to speak, to be heard, and to potentially find a semblance of justice in a situation where power and trust have been so flagrantly exploited. The Garlicks’ travel across this country was not, as it seems, a mission of faith healing and community building, but perhaps one that left behind a darker, indelible mark on the lives of the vulnerable.