Sunday, January 30, 2011

Minister charged
West Harrison minister charged in rape of teen
By Barbara Livingston Nackman • • January 30, 2011

WEST HARRISON — A 38-year-old West Harrison man, a minister and principal of a church-affiliated school in the Bronx, has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual abuse of a teenage member of his congregation.

The abuse reportedly went on for more than three years and the victim became pregnant.
Michael Clare was charged with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of second degree rape, and a single count each of first-degree criminal sexual act, second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
He is a minister at Harvest Worship Center International at 4036 White Plains Road in the Bronx and school principal of Harvest Preparatory Academy, the Office of the District Attorney of Bronx County said.
The alleged crimes occurred beginning April 1, 2006, several month's before the victim's 13th birthday, the district attorney's office said, and continued for more than 3 1/2 years, through Jan. 2, 2010, when the victim was 16 years old.
On a MySpace page, Clare is described as "a man of great integrity who leads by example and takes his ministry very seriously. He is a paragon, a model of excellence, and an ideal example of living and preaching the Gospel of Christ."
It also says he is married and has children.
Clare was first arrested June 14, 2010, after the victim and her family notified police and charged with second-degree rape and other offenses. Clare was released on bail of $20,000.
DNA evidence linked Clare to the victim, who had become pregnant at 15.
Subsequently, the charges against Clare were elevated to first-degree rape and he was arraigned on these new charges late Friday. Acting State Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez raised the bail to $50,000 cash or $25,000 bond. It was not immediately available if he was still being held or had posted his bail.
The District Attorney's Office said Clare had been a Bronx resident, but according to arrest documents he had recently moved to West Harrison.

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