Sun | Nov 17, 2019

Paedophile pastor has got away with 12-year sentence, says Spence

Published:Saturday | October 19, 2019 | 12:11 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Nadeen Spence
Nadeen Spence

A gender-rights advocate has bemoaned the sentencing of Pastor Kenneth Blake, who, in July, pleaded guilty to having sex with a person under 16 years old.

Blake, 56, pastor of Harvest Temple Apostolic Church on Slipe Pen Road in St Andrew, was sentenced yesterday to 12 years each for two counts of having sex with a person under 16 years old and five years for sexual touching.

He was sentenced when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Nadeen Spence told The Gleaner yesterday that the 12-year sentence has left her “heartbroken”.

“Twelve years is really, I don’t know. ... I am heartbroken to see such a light sentence. When you hear these things, it makes you feel defeated. It’s just sad, you know. How do you take these issues seriously when someone gets away with 12 years? What has been done to that young girl’s life?” she said.

Spence, however, admitted that she was not aware of any factors that trial judge Justice Lorna Shelly-Williams would have taken into consideration to determine the sentence.

Blake was arrested by detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse in August 2017 and charged with rape, forcible abduction, grievous sexual assault, having sex with a person under 16 years old, and sexual touching.

His arrest came after the teen gave investigators a detailed statement in which she complained that Blake had sex with her at his St Andrew home when she was 12 years old.

She told investigators that Blake first had sex with her in 2015.

Investigators said that his then 12-year-old victim was the daughter of one of his parishioners to whom he was engaged to be married.

The now 15-year-old, who Blake impregnated, gave birth to a boy on November 30, 2017.

Livern Barrett contributed to this story.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com