Traveling pastor, wife facing child rape charges in Murfreesboro appear in court
Benjamin Garlick helped run La Espada, a Murfreesboro-based ministry for Spanish speakers.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) – A traveling pastor and his wife, both facing several child rape and abuse charges, appeared in court on Tuesday morning.
Benjamin Garlick and his wife, Shaantal, were both arraigned by Circuit Court Judge Barry Tidwell. An arraignment is where a judge and prosecutors formally present charges against defendants.
Benjamin Garlick, 32, is charged with five counts of aggravated child rape, five counts of aggravated sexual battery, sexual exploitation of a child and continuous sexual abuse. His wife is charged with facilitating child rape, aggravated child abuse, among other charges. The rape charges stem from actions that were alleged to have occurred in February 2021, police said.
Garlick helped run La Espada, a Murfreesboro-based ministry for Spanish speakers. A sign posted at the business showed Garlick had been given an eviction notice on August 29, for not paying rent to Sword of the Lord Publishers.
Benjamin Garlick remains jailed in the Rutherford County jail on a $750,000 bond. Shantaal Garlick was released on a $75,000 bond.
The couple is back in court on Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
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