CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – The senior pastor of a Clarksville church has been arrested in Michigan on charges that he raped two teenagers.
Pastor Larry J. Rayford Jr., 43, was booked into Montgomery County Jail today on four counts of rape and four counts of statutory rape, in addition to a worthless check charge.
One victim was 15 and the other was 13 at the time of the incidents in August 2020, according to court records obtained by Clarksville Now.
When reached for comment, the pastor’s wife, Tiana Rayford, said the allegations are false.
“People shouldn’t believe everything that they hear,” she said. “There are three sides to every story. That’s his side, the accusers’ side and God’s side. God is the ultimate judge – the one who is going to bring everything out.”
Investigation and arrest
In August 2021, a year after the alleged incidents and following a criminal investigation, Rayford was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on two counts of rape and two counts of statutory rape with each teenager.
In late November, Rayford left Clarksville for Holland, Michigan, where several family members had died, and he was needed to help with their funerals, Tiana Rayford told Clarksville Now. While there, his aunt became seriously ill, and he stayed to take care of her temporarily, she said.
Michigan State Police said today that over the Christmas break, authorities developed a potential location for Rayford’s whereabouts….