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The Saga Surrounding a Jamaican Pastor Accused of Sexual Misconduct Continues REVEREND RUPERT CLARKE PLEADED GUILTY TO TWO COUNTS OF HAVING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 16.
A Moravian pastor in Jamaica will know in March next year what punishment he will face for having sex with two girls, both minors, after he admitted to committing the acts.
Reverend Rupert Clarke pleaded guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court on Wednesday.
The 64-year-old was arrested on December 28, 2016, when police found him in his car with one of the girls in a “compromising position”. It was subsequently discovered that he had also had a sexual relationship with that girl’s sister when she was under the consent age of 16.
Clarke, who had initially pleaded not guilty, changed his plea at what was just supposed to be a ruling on the prosecution’s application to have his matter transferred to another court.
The pastor who once led the congregation at Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester continues on bail pending his return to court on March 8, 2018 for sentencing.
Jamaican Pastor Faces Another Sexual Misconduct Charge — Involving His First Alleged Victim’s Sister PAUL GARDNER AND JERMAINE GIBSON HAVE RESIGNED FROM THE CHURCH’S HIGHEST BODY
There has been some more serious fallout in and outside the Moravian Church in Jamaica which has been shaken by allegations of sexual misconduct within its ranks.
Church president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson have resigned from the church’s highest body – the Provincial Elders Conference – which has embarked on a mission to get to the bottom of the embarrassing scandal.
According to the Jamaica Observer newspaper, the executive is mounting a probe into the damning allegations after receiving a letter containing charges of sexual abuse.
The church’s troubles erupted after 67-year-old Pastor Rupert Clarke was charged with carnal abuse and rape of a 15-year-old girl on January 3.
Clarke was granted bail when he appeared in court. However, this week, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) disclosed that the disgraced religious leader will be slapped with a second charge of carnal abuse resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with one of the minor’s sisters.
Almost daily, the situation has been worsening. The Jamaica Gleaner reported that more women are sharing stories of being abused while they were young members of the church.
Most telling is a graphic email sent to the church by an alleged victim who detailed a series of incidents which began when she was 14 years old.
The church’s executive has pledged the incident will be thoroughly investigated by an independent committee.
Outside of the church, Hampton School principal Heather Murray, a close friend of the accused Clarke, has also landed in hot water.
She came under fire after attending Clarke’s bail hearing and attempting to block a television cameraman from taking footage of Clarke.
Murray later issued a statement explaining that she attended the hearing to lend support to her longtime friend, Clarke’s wife.
There have, however, been strong calls for Murray to resign, but following a meeting with Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid last week, Murray proceeded on a two-week leave and is expected to undergo counseling.
During this period time, she is expected to complete a formal report about her actions.
The crisis which erupted in the Moravian Church in Jamaica with the arrest of one pastor at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations, is deepening.
Just days after Pastor Rupert Clarke was formally charged and granted bail for carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl, he is set to slapped with a second charge.
At yesterday morning’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education and Information Ruel Reid revealed that the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) will charge the disgraced religious leader with carnal abuse resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with one of the minor’s sisters.
He said the child was receiving counseling from the Child Development Agency (CDA) and other family members have also been referred to the CDA.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Gleaner has reported that young women who once attended the Moravian Church have been sharing their stories of sexual abuse – some doing so on social media, while others have been seeking help from professionals.
Social commentator and gender specialist Nadeen Spence, who grew up in the Moravian Church, has been helping the alleged victims.
Claiming that the women were not ready to file official complaints with the police, Spence said most of them were having a hard time reliving their experiences.
Head of the Moravian Church Dr Paul Gardener has admitted that the church is hurting under the weight of the scandal but insists it will not crumble.
He also strongly defended the church, saying it deals firmly with matters of misconduct.