Complainant’s no-show holds up St James pastor’s rape case
ST JAMES, Jamaica — Efforts to prosecute St James-based pastor Jason Rose and two other co-defendants in relation to claims that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl were hampered by the complainant’s absence on Monday.
Rose, his wife Kehmi, and the complainant’s mother were scheduled to stand trial in the St James Circuit Court on Monday, however, the court was informed that the complainant could not be found.
The trial was then postponed until January 19, 2024 to give authorities more time to find her.
In addition to the rape charge against Rose, the three defendants are all charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Kehmi Rose and the complainant’s mother, whose identity is being withheld to protect the complainant’s privacy, have also been charged with violating the Child Care and Protection Act.
According to the prosecution’s case file, on May 28, 2021, the complainant, who was 15 at the time, reported that she had been raped by the pastor on his church’s compound, where she had gone to use the internet for an educational project.
READ: St James pastor charged with rape of 15-y-o
It is also alleged that on June 10, 2021, the teen and her mother went to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse to give a statement claiming that the child’s initial rape accusation against the pastor was false.
During the interview, the complainant allegedly disclosed that she was coerced by her mother, the accused pastor, and the pastor’s wife to provide the second statement in order to have the case dismissed.
The complainant’s mother was arrested on June 10, and Kehmi Rose was arrested the next day.
READ: Wife of J’can pastor accused of rape charged for trying to pervert course of justice