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18.02.2007 Crime & Punishment

Pastor jailed for attempted rape

By GNA

An Awutu Beraku magistrate's court on Friday jailed a self-styled pastor at Kasoa four years in hard labour for inserting his fingers into the private parts of two women and attempted to rape them in turn.

Justice Essel, 42, the self-acclaimed pastor pleaded guilty with explanation to the charge of indecent assault.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Helena Aidoo of Kasoa Police told the court, presided over by Mr Charles A. Wilson that the complainants, both friends, lived in the same compound in Kasoa. She said on February 8 2007, the two friends visited another friend at Anden-Nania, a suburb of Kasoa where they met the accused person in the house and on seeing them he started prophesying. Chief Inspector Aidoo told the court that the Pastor told one of them that he has seen her in a dream, wearing mourning cloth and if she did not pray seriously the husband would die.

The prosecution said the pastor also told the second victim that her son will be a prosperous man in future and demanded anointing oil from the two women for prayers for them in his room. The prosecution said the complainants went to the house later in the day where he invited them into his room in turns. The first victim spent about one hour in the room but kept to herself the ordeal she went through.

Chief Inspector Aidoo said when the second victim went into the room, the pastor started making love overtures to her, so she became annoyed and got out of the room and confronted the first for not disclosing her ordeal to her.

Chief Inspector Aidoo told the court that it was during the confrontation that the first complainant told her friend that the accused person inserted his fingers into her private part and socked her breast.

The prosecution said the second complainant became furious and attacked the accused person for his misconduct. Chief Inspector Aidoo said the pastor, sensing danger went to the Kasoa police station and lodged complain against the second victim for assaulting him.

The two victims later went to report the case against the prophet and he was arrested and charged with the offence.

Before passing sentence, the Judge said the conduct of accused "is a disgrace to all men of God and it is a betrayal of Christian principles".

"The accused is being convicted and sentenced to serve as a deterrent to all so call prophets who sexually assault innocent women and people's wives.." he said. 18 Feb. 07

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