Tue | Dec 12, 2017

It's extortion, says pastor accused of sex with 12-y-o

Published:Thursday | August 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett

The Kingston pastor facing sex-related charges involving a 12-year-old girl has claimed that the allegations against him are part of a personal vendetta by the mother of his accuser even as the Harvest Temple Apostolic church group distanced itself from his alleged inappropriate conduct.

To help prove his innocence, Kenneth Blake, the 56-year-old pastor of the Harvest Temple Apostolic Church, located on Slipe Pen Road, consented in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday to provide investigators with DNA samples. According to his attorney, Abel-Don Foote, this would show that Blake did not impregnate the now 14-year-old girl.

"He is of the firm conviction that no rape took place. He never molested anyone. This is all a lie," Foote said during a bail application for the pastor.

But even before Blake made his first court appearance,

presiding bishop for the Harvest Temple Apostolic church group, Kingsley Carter, used a newspaper advertisement to express regret about the "allegations surrounding inappropriate

sexual actions by a pastor of the group".

"We believe and uphold the principles of the Word of God in relation to the behaviour of born-again believers and, specifically,

pastors, who must act as shepherds and display the highest level of integrity," Carter said in the ad published by The Gleaner on Tuesday.

However, Foote revealed in court that Blake and the mother of his accuser were involved in a relationship. He revealed, too, that up to earlier this year, the woman was a treasurer for the church.

 

$300,000 missing

 

But according to the attorney, the woman became bitter when the relationship and financial assistance Blake provided ceased. In addition, he said that the woman could not account for more than $300,000 belonging to the church.

"The complaint is as a result of malice and spite ... . This is, essentially, a case of extortion," Foote argued, pointing out that the woman gave police investigators a statement indicating that she was experiencing financial difficulties.

Blake has been granted bail in the sum of $1.5 million, and a stop order has been placed on him at the ports.

Senior Parish Judge Simone Wolfe Reece ordered that he not be alone with anyone under the age of 18 years old, except his children.

Blake has also been ordered to surrender his travel documents and report to the Harbour View police on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Wolfe Reece ordered, too, that Blake should have no contact with the complainant, her mother, or any of her siblings.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com