Raped, tortured: Preacher's wife treated as 'sex slave'
THE wife of fanatical Queensland preacher Larry Harris has told of being raped, tortured, and losing her son, all at the hands of her abusive husband who described himself as a man of God.
The Cairns grandmother told 60 Minutes her husband would rape her "up to seven times a day", as a way to prove how macho he was to former wife Joy, 63.
"He didn't care if it caused me pain," she told host reporter Liam Bartlett.
Pastor Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of rape in Queensland earlier this year.
Ms Harris intends to press charges in NSW, where most of the abuse occurred, once he is released.
The abuse and violence also cost Ms Harris a relationship with her son Kevin, who admits the preacher was a flawed man but also blames his mother for his father's evil actions.
She said her son has turned away from her for criticising the church.
Kevin himself leads a congregation of the Illawarra Community Baptist Church in Dapto.
[Kevin thinks] I'm just as guilty as a rapist, my rapist. I'm wrong; I'm displeasing God.
Mr Harris, her son, stormed out of an interview with 60 Minutes, saying there was "disobedience to the Lord on both parts" in reference to his mother and father.
"I believe my father is guilty, but he has expressed his remorse and his repentance."
Mr Harris' own church has an event titled "Biblical Husbands and Fathers", which it advertises with scripture about telling husbands to love and honour their wives "as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it".
In 2008, Mr Harris was disowned by the Baptist Union of NSW amid claims he said Jews were "going to hell" and faced a fate "worse than the holocaust" for not believing in Jesus. He later said his comments including the statement "all sinners, including me, would deserve hell" had been misinterpreted.
The Independent Baptist Church is separate from the mainstream Australian Baptist Ministries.
Her other son Jason left the church after witnessing his mother's prolonged abuse.
"We didn't realise it at the time complete, but she was a sex slave," he said.
Detective Sergeant Brendan Young led the investigation into Pastor Harris. He agreed with Jason's description.
"It was sexual assault, it was rapes, it was deprivation of liberty," he said.
"Look, it was disgusting to be honest."