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Former Gastonia pastor faces charges of sex with minors in Haiti

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GASTONIA, NC (AP) -- A former Gastonia-area pastor faces trial in February on charges he traveled to Haiti during a church ministry and had sex with two minors.

The Charlotte Observer reported that 66-year-old Larry Michael Bollinger pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Charlotte in May.

Bollinger is accused of illegal conduct with two girls, ages 11 and 12 in 2009. Prosecutors said four victims were identified.

Bollinger was pastor at Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stanley when he and his wife went to Haiti to work with the Lazarus Project in 2004. The project runs a vocational school and medical clinic.

A spokesman for The Lazarus Project said Bollinger worked several years as coordinator, but was removed when the allegations were made.

Prosecutors say the 2010 earthquake delayed the investigation.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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