Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Pastor sex case heads to Circuit Court

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/ Senior Gleaner Writer
Persons walk by the building which houses the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

A Parish Court judge has ruled that Kenneth Blake, the Kingston pastor accused of repeatedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl before impregnating her, must stand trial in the Home Circuit Court for a number of sex-related offences.

The order was made by Parish Judge Sancia Burrell last Friday during a committal proceedings hearing as parish courts do not have jurisdiction to hold a trial for sexual offences. As a result, Blake is scheduled to make his first appearance in the Home Circuit Court on October 1.

The 55-year-old pastor of the Harvest Temple Apostolic Church, located on Slipe Pen Road, is facing charges of rape, forcible abduction, grievous sexual assault, sexual touching and sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years old.

Following the ruling, he was released on bail in the sum of $1.5 million and ordered not to have any contact with the now 15-year-old complainant, or her family. Blake was also ordered to report to the police three times a week and a stop order has been placed on him at the ports.

The Gleaner first reported, last August, that the complainant gave police investigators a detailed statement in which she alleged that Blake initially forced himself on to her before he began to reward her after their sexual encounters.

The alleged sexual encounters came to light last June when the teen discovered that she was pregnant and confessed everything to her mother.

Under the Committal Proceedings Act, which was enacted in 2013 to abolish preliminary enquiries, a parish judge is required to examine all the evidence against an accused person before deciding whether it is sufficient to establish a prima facie case.