GASTONIA, N.C. (WSOC-TV) — A Gaston County pastor was in federal court Friday, facing charges of molesting underage girls in Haiti.
Larry Michael Bollinger, 68, is facing up to 30 years in prison after he admitted molesting underage girls while doing missionary work in Haiti.
The suspect spent more than an hour on the witness stand Friday morning, hoping the judge will sentence him to something less than that.
Bollinger has been in jail since he was arrested a year and a half ago, and it was almost a year ago that he pleaded guilty to the charges of molesting 11-year-old girls in Haiti.
In court Friday, Bollinger told the judge that he is a sex addict. He said his problems began when he became too interested in pornography while he was a pastor at several different churches in the U.S.
Bollinger described in detail how he had patronized adult bookstores and prostitutes one place after the other. He said that two years after he moved to Haiti, 11-year-old girls made themselves available and he took advantage of them.
“I crossed boundaries I never imagined I would have crossed. I’m very embarrassed that I let myself slip to those depths, but I did,” he said, tearing up.
Bollinger was arrested after he admitted what he had done to a therapist in Texas. About two dozen people were in the courtroom to support Bollinger, who was a pastor in Gaston County before he was arrested.
Testimony is expected to continue all day Friday before Judge Robert Conrad decides how much time Bollinger should spend in prison.