Murfreesboro Police Urge Victims to Come Forward in 2023 Child Rape Case

Apr 12, 2024 at 06:01 pm by WGNS News

(L to R) Benjamin Sean Garlick and Shaantal Garlick

MURFRESSBORO, Tenn. –  Murfreesboro Police Department Criminal Investigations Division Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives are encouraging any potential victims to come forward in the child rape case of a traveling minister. 


Benjamin Sean Garlick, 32, was re-indicted by a Rutherford County Grand Jury in March and now faces additional charges.  The charges include seven counts of aggravated rape of a child, six counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of violation of the child protection act.  He was served with the indictment while jailed in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. 

His wife, Shaantal, 30, was also re-indicted and now faces two counts each of facilitation of aggravated rape of a child and aggravated child neglect.  She made bond last year and was rearrested last month after being served with the new indictment.

The investigation shows Benjamin Garlick spent the past several years as a traveling minister with primary focus on the Hispanic community.  He and his wife traveled across the country, according to the investigation.

This past month on March 19, 2024, Shaantal Garlick filed for a divorce against Benjamin Garlick. That court case remains open at this time.

Just before the start of 2023, a GoFundMe page was started to raise funds for a new van. The effort was spearheaded by Benjamin Garlick, according to information found on the GoFundMe account page that opened with a Bible verse.

As for the reason the Garlick's needed a new van, the GoFundMe page showed due to the size of their growing family.

It was indicated on the page that the Garlick's already had the van, but needed to pay it off within the next 60-days due to "...special financing with no interest." The fundraiser description further elaborated that $40,000 was needed to pay for the vehicle. Another sentence highlighted, "That’s as few as forty churches each giving one thousand, or eighty giving 500."

Donors that helped with the cost of a family van included individuals, some of whom donated anonymously, and at least one organization. Gift amounts with each donation varied greatly, with some people giving $5 and others giving as much as $4,000.

Today, SVU detectives are urging anyone, particularly those in the Hispanic community, who believe they could be a victim to come forward.  Potential victims can contact Detective James Wilkinson at 629-201-5612 or email

Benjamin Garlick remains in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on a $825,000 bond.  Shaantal Garlick is free again after posting another $75,000 bond. Both are scheduled to appear in Rutherford County Circuit Court for an arraignment hearing on the new charges on Monday, April 15.

  • See more details in the previous news article HERE

DISCLAIMER: All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The arrest records or information about an arrest that are published or reported on NewsRadio WGNS and are not an indication of guilt or evidence that an actual crime has been committed.



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