Pastor, wife, teen's mom back in court TuesdaySunday, July 25, 2021
BY ANTHONY LEWIS
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The 39-year-old St James pastor, his wife, and the mother of a teenaged girl who accused the clergyman of rape are expected to know on Tuesday, September 27 when a trial date will be set for their case.
All three, who were given a September 27 return date, were remanded when they appeared in the St James Parish Court on Friday.
The man of the cloth was originally charged with rape. A charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice was later added. Similarly, the two women face charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Initial allegations against the pastor are that sometime in March he assaulted the girl while she was at his home, which is located on the church premises at 62 Barnett Street in Montego Bay. She had reportedly gone there to access the Internet to complete a school project.
A report was made to the police, an investigation launched, and a search began to locate the alleged perpetrator, who is pastor of New Life Apostolic Church in this western Jamaica city.
He reported to the Freeport Police Station on June 7 and was charged by detectives assigned to the St James branch of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), following an interview in the presence of his attorney.
The clergyman was allowed bail in the sum of $300,000 when he appeared before Parish Judge Sasha Ashley for the first time on June 14. However, he was later slapped with a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice after allegations surfaced that he had attempted to contact the complainant by phone.
It is also alleged that the pastor's wife coerced the 15-year-old into saying that her initial reports to the police was false.
On June 16 all three were denied bail on the grounds that there was no guarantee they would not attempt to influence the complainant.
It was reportedly disclosed in court that the pastor, his wife, and the mother of the teenager all share a close relationship.
The judge has indicated her intention to send the case to the Home Circuit Court for trial, once the case file is completed.
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