Perversion of justice charge against Paul Lewis dropped; still faces another
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Rev Paul Lewis, the United States-based Jamaican-born televangelist who had been on sex-related charges, was on Monday 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
Lewis' trial on that count did not get off the ground Monday 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, Monday, 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.
"In the face of justice and in terms of the impact the case will have on the witness, I am asking that the case be held in camera."
The defence had opposed the application and Resident Magistrate (RM) Collimore Gordon is expected to rule on the matter when Lewis next appears in court.
"I am leaning towards the prosecution's request, but I will make known my decision on 25th March, 2013," said the RM.
Lewis' attorney Bishop later told reporters that the defence will be fighting the move by the prosecution to keep the case away from the public.
"I don't know what basis they have for it, but it is an application that we opposed in court and we intend to oppose whenever it comes up again," he stressed.
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
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.