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Televangelist Lewis freed on one charge, faces another

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer reporter editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 5:45 PM    

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WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Rev Paul Lewis, the US-based Jamaican-born televangelist who had been on sex-related charges here, was today freed of a charge of perverting the course of justice when he appeared in the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate’s Court.

He was freed by the court as the prosecution witness backed out of the matter.

But Lewis is not yet in the clear as he is facing another count of perverting the course of justice for which he is expected to be tried next year.

Lewis’ trial on that count did not get off the ground today as lead attorney Keith Bishop told the court that the defence had got some critical documents late.

The accused is set to reappear in court March 25, 2013.

At the same time, Nicole Wright, the senior legal policy officer at the Child Development Agency, today made an application for the case to be held in camera.

"Under section 20, subsection four of the Jamaican Constitution, one of the Crown’s key witness is a child and complaints were made that her privacy was invaded and also that the media had hounded her," Wright argued during her application.

The defence had opposed the application and Resident Magistrate Collimore Gordon is expected to rule on the matter when Lewis next appears in court.

Lewis was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice in October of 2010 when he turned up for court in relation to the sex assault charges against him. He is alleged to have paid one of the complainants in the matter, causing her to change her statement.

The reverend was first arrested on June 14, 2009 and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault of two teenage girls. He had met one of the girls at a crusade he was ministering at in Little London, Westmoreland.

However, Lewis, who is based in Brooklyn, New York, was freed of the charges on June 15, 2011.

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