Sun | Dec 9, 2018

Pastor gets 20 years for sexual assault of 13-year-old

Published:Saturday | March 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

Pastor Paul Hanniford, the clergyman convicted for having sex with a 13-year-old girl after telling her mother he was taking the teen and her brother for a drive-out, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The sentence was handed down by Justice Lorna Shelly Williams in the Home Circuit Court yesterday.

The 55-year-old Pentecostal pastor was convicted last month.

The in-camera trial featured testimony from the now 15-year-old victim and her then five-year-old brother, who watched through a bedroom window as his sister was being sexually assaulted.


Going for "drive out"


Prosecutors led evidence that the pastor took the victim and her sibling to his house under the pretence that they were going for a "drive out".

The five-year-old boy was given a bowl of cornflakes and placed around a dining table as the then 13-year-old victim asked to use the bathroom, prosecutors revealed.

Hanniford reportedly accompanied her to the bathroom before leading the child to a bedroom, where the assault took place.

According to prosecutors, the five-year-old boy began searching for his sister when he heard her crying out for help and climbed on to a chair that allowed him to peer into the bedroom and witness the assault.

Afterwards, prosecutors said Hanniford returned the children to their mother, who was waiting for them at his church, and tried to convince the 13-year-old that what happened was their "little secret" and that she should not tell anyone.

Prosecutors said that on reuniting with his mother, the boy made several attempts to tell her about the attack in the presence of the pastor, but was shut down by the minister. On the fourth attempt, they said, he blurted out an account of what happened.