SARASOTA, Fla. — A former non-denominational bishop now faces a second charge of sexual battery of a child under 12.
Henry Lee Porter, 72, was arrested earlier this month after Sarasota police said more than 10 people accused him of sexual abuse. Porter was first charged last week.
During a news conference last week, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said a man alleges Porter began abusing him when he was 12 in 1989. The man told police the abuse continued for several years when he was a member and student at Westcoast Center for Human Development, a church Porter founded.
According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Porter incorporated the church in 1971 before stepping down in 2016. His son, Henry Porter II, is now the church's pastor.
Sarasota police said Porter gained the second charge Friday afternoon. Investigators said the charge stems from allegations of sexual abuse between April and November 1990 while the accuser was attending school at the church.
Though the investigation is still active and ongoing, DiPino said the accusers ranged in age from 10 to 19 at the time of the alleged offenses. Detectives said the investigation now spans at least 30 years.
"We do believe there are other victims in our community," DiPino said. "We encourage them to come forward."
Porter remains in Sarasota County Jail without bail.
Police encourage anyone with information on this investigation to contact Det. Jeff Birdwell at 941-263-6028.
Do you or somebody you know need help? You can report abuse to the Florida Abuse Hotline at (800) 96-ABUSE.
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