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14.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Pastor appears in court for impregnating church member


Mamponteng (Ash), July 14, GNA - A 35-year-old pastor who allegedly put a 17-year-old member of his church in the family way but refused responsibility was on Wednesday granted a self cognisance bail by a family tribunal at Mamponteng in Ashanti.

The Reverend Richard Asiedu also known as Nuamah, Head Pastor of the Christian Kingdom Ministry at Aboaso in the Kwabre District, who was brought to the court on a bench warrant, pleaded not guilty to the charge and will re-appear on July 22.

He is said to have impregnated Afua Amankwaah, a first year student of the Aboaso Local Authority Junior Secondary School. An action initiated by the Ashanti Regional Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Service for the prosecution of the pastor indicated that the pastor accepted responsibility for the pregnancy in December last year when he was summoned and interrogated over the issue. According to an official of the WAJU the pastor failed to honour his responsibilities of feeding, clothing and paying the girl's medical bills amounting to about two million cedis.

The official said the WAJU and Madam Akosua Saah, the victim's mother, filed a motion in June this year at the Family Tribunal for the recovery of the money and prayed the court to compel pastor Asiedu to bear responsibility for maintenance.

The tribunal was told that in March last year, the pastor ordered the girl to quit her house and stay with him so that he could pray and fast intensely for her as God wanted to use her. Amankwaah had told the tribunal that when she moved to the pastor's residence at Aboaso, he forcibly had sex with her on many occasions resulting in the pregnancy.

Mr M K Sepenu, counsel for the pastor, however denied that his client ever proposed love or had sex with the girl.