ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica – The crisis which erupted in the Moravian Church in Jamaica with the arrest of one pastor at the center 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 Center 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.