By Scotty Reid
Larry Michael Bollinger, 68, of Gastonia, North Carolina, a former pastor has been sentenced to 25 years and will not be eligible for parole after pleading guilty to sex crimes involving four Haitian girls ranging in age from eleven to sixteen years old.
Bollinger had been in custody of US federal authorities since his arrest in May of 2012. In a statement to the press, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said “Bollinger is a sexual predator who used his missionary work as a cover to hide the heinous sexual abuse he perpetrated on the innocent children of an impoverished country, Prosecutors and law enforcement worked tirelessly to bring this monster to justice, and even though today’s sentence cannot undo the harm Bollinger inflicted upon his young victims, it is a clear message that our justice system will protect children beyond our borders.”
While working for the Christian missionary group The Lazarus Project in Haiti, Bollinger held jobs in a food pantry and in a school called Village of Hope that is also operated by the Lazarus Project. One of the victims said that Bollinger used offerings of food and money to get her to perform sexual acts on him. All of the crimes occurred in 2009.
Brock Nicholson, a special agent with homeland security said, “The defendant betrayed the trust placed in him by his congregation, his charity and, most importantly, by the children he was supposedly helping in Haiti, for the damage he has caused in these young lives, the defendant has earned every minute of this sentence.”
Bollinger would be 93 years old before he can get out of prison and after his time is served, he would have to live under court supervision and register as a sex offender. In 90 days, another court hearing will determine the amount of restitution he will have to pay to his victims.
According to its website, The Lazarus Project began working in Haiti in 2004 after two hurricanes devastated the island nation. Mission Lazarus: Haiti claims to be providing spiritual, educational, medical, agricultural and housing services in the country founded by formerly enslaved Africans and free Blacks who were the first to successfully wage war against European en-slavers gaining independence in 1804. According to world statistics, Haiti has a population of about ten million people and has yet to recover from a 2010 earthquake despite all the pledges of economic help from around the world.