Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Televangelist Dr Paul Lewis had a small victory in the Savanna-la-mar Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday as one of the charges in the perversion of justice case against him was dropped.
The United States-based pastor, who was acquitted of carnal abuse and indecent assault charges in June 2011, was facing two counts of perversion of justice - related to the carnal abuse case he won.
However, yesterday, Resident Magistrate Collymore Gordon dismissed one of the charges.
The allegations against Lewis are that he attempted to bribe the two girls who were involved in the carnal abuse and indecent assault case for which he was found not guilty by a jury. His $300,000 bail was extended and his trial, which is set to last for three weeks, has been scheduled to start on March 25 next year.
Attorney-at-law Keith Bishop, who is representing Lewis, asked the judge to have criminal charges filed against the witnesses, who he believes committed perjury and perverted the course of justice during the previous court case.
"Your honour, the Crown has two witnesses that should be charged for their actions involving matters that were brought against the pastor," Bishop said. "The two witnesses should be in prison."
The lawyer further disagreed with the prosecuting attorney-at-law Nicole Wright, who had argued that the perversion of justice case should be tried in camera and not in a public court, citing the need to protect the witnesses from the media.
"The evidence to be given has nothing to do with any sexual matter. I found it odd that the prosecution witnesses need protection from the media. My client is the victim in this situation and the one who has been in the media, not the witnesses. We need a public trial," Bishop demanded.
The judge requested that subpoenas be prepared for the witnesses to attend trial come March 25.
Lewis escaped a possible 10-year prison sentence when a seven-member jury found him not guilty of carnal abuse and indecent assault.
In addition to being a celebrated televangelist, Lewis holds a doctorate in divinity and is an author and ordained minister. He is the founder and president of The Messengers For Christ Ministries World Healing Centre, which is based in New York.