What feels like a plot from a movie is a scene from reality. A self-proclaimed Atlanta pastor and his wife were arrested and charged with false imprisonment after authorities found several people locked in their basement.

On Jan. 13, emergency crews traveled to a property to assist a patient suffering from a seizure. Upon arriving to the residence, authorities discovered the entrance of the basement was secured by a deadbolt. They then entered the basement through a window to find eight mentally and physically disabled people located in the basement, CBS 46 Atlanta reported.

Both Curtis Keith Bankston and his wife, Sophia Simms-Bankston had been leasing the residence for over a year and were using it as an unlicensed facility under the guise of the church, One Step of Faith Ministries based in Atlanta.

Police say the couple falsely imprisoned the individuals and controlled their finances, benefits and medications, Fox 5 Atlanta reported. In some instances individuals were denied proper medical care.

Griffin Police told Fox 5 Atlanta, “It is both frightening and disgusting to see the degree to which these individuals have been taken advantage of by people who were in a position of trust.”

Bankston’s maintains his innocence and states that he is being unfairly targeted by the media which he alleges wants to ruin his reputation as a Black man, The Daily Beast reported.

His attorney, Dexter Wimbush stated “I am disturbed by this continual attack on Black men in America. It is unfortunate that the news media will highlight the wrongs that Black men do. But there seems to be this intentional plan to eradicate even the Black men in this country who are doing the right thing.”

The Georgia Department of Human Services has relocated the eight victims who are now receiving proper care.

Fox 5 Atlanta reported, while an investigation is pending, both Mr. Bankston and his wife could soon face more charges.