Former Sarasota bishop accused of sexually assaulting children over four decades


January 3, 2020

By Michael Moore Jr.

A former bishop and founder of the Westcoast Center for Human Development was arrested Thursday by Sarasota Police after multiple investigations “demonstrated more than four decades of children and adults suffering sexual abuse by Henry Lee Porter Sr.,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Although there are eight victims listed in court documents, Porter, 72, was arrested Thursday by Sarasota Police for one count of alleged sexual battery of a child under 12 years of age — a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Porter founded the Westcoast Gospel Chorus and was pastor of the church he incorporated in 1971 for 45 years before stepping down in June 2016 and allowing his son, Henry Porter II, to take over.

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