Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pastor charged


Weeping pastor: US-based preacher cries as court rules he must answer to carnal abuse charges
Published: Saturday | September 11, 2010 56 Comments and 0 Reactions
LewisSheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau: INTERNATIONAL PASTOR Paul Lewis lost his battle to have the carnal abuse charges brought against him dismissed.

Lewis, who shed tears during the recess even before the ruling was made in the Savannah-La-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday, will face the Westmoreland Circuit Court on October 11.

His $300,000 bail has been extended.

Lewis is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

When he appeared before Resident Magistrate Lyle Armstrong yesterday, Lewis' attorneys argued that the Crown had not made out a case against the miracle-working pastor.

"Paul Lewis feels that it is nothing short of a travesty of justice that the matter has been sent to the next sitting of the Circuit Court," attorney-at-law Keith Bishop said.

"All of us as defence counsel made no-case submissions. It's important to point out that an important element of carnal abuse is penetration. There is no evidence of penetration and the judge still commits the matter to Circuit," Bishop told The Gleaner.

"We were denied statements from the forensic expert and we do not know to what extent the judge might have relied on the forensic evidence to determine whether or not this case should go forward.

"We believe that what has gone forward is an extremely weak case, and we are appalled and disappointed that the matter has been committed to trial," Bishop said.

Allegations against the pastor are that last June, he met the 15-year-old at a convention in Little London, Westmoreland, where he was a guest preacher. He reportedly exchanged telephone numbers with the girl, and in a subsequent meeting, took her and a 14-year-old female companion with him on a trip to Clarendon.

On their return to Westmoreland, the girls stayed with him at his Negril hotel. It was during that night that the alleged sexual encounter took place while her companion watched.

Lewis has a massive following, both locally and overseas, through his The Messengers For Christ Ministries World Healing Centre. He was responsible for baptising dancehall artiste Ninja Man.

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