Wed | Dec 2, 2020

JUST IN: Pastor pleads guilty to sex crimes involving 12-y-o girl after two years of denial

Published:Monday | July 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Livern Barrett, Senior Staff Reporter

After nearly two years of denial, pastor Kenneth Blake has admitted that he repeatedly had sex with a 12-year-old girl who he impregnated.

Blake today pleaded guilty to the offences of grievous sexual assault, having sex with a person under 16 years old and sexual touching when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.

The 56-year-old pastor of Harvest Temple Apostolic Church, located on Slipe Pen Road, in Kingston, was also charged with rape and forcible abduction, but those charges have been withdrawn by prosecutors.

He will be sentenced on October 18 and has been remanded.

The victim, who is now 15 years old, gave birth to a boy on November 30, 2017.

The Gleaner first reported that Blake was arrested and charged in August 2017 by detectives assigned to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.

The charges were filed 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 the first time Blake had sex with her was in 2015.

That, she said, happened after the clergyman gave her older sister money to go downtown and “buy some things” then forced himself onto her.

Following this, according to her account, he began giving her gifts to keep quiet about their sexual encounters.

However, everything came to light in August 2017 after she discovered that she was pregnant and confessed everything to her mother.

But Blake denied the accusations, even after two DNA tests found that there was a 99.9 per cent chance he could not be excluded as the father.

The second test was done at a private institution chosen by Blake after he complained that the first test, conducted at the Government Forensic Laboratory, was “tainted”.

He insisted in court that the accusations against him were part of an extortion attempt by the child’s mother and had volunteered to do the first DNA test.

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