Alleged Rapist Pastor out on bail in the Solomon Islands

The pastor of a local church in East Are’are Malaita in the Solomon Islands, who is facing a rape charge, has been released on bail, The Solomon Star reports.

Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea allowed the 42-year-old father of four under strict bail conditions.

The pastor’s two securities yesterday each paid $1,000 before he was released.

His lawyer George Gray made the successful bail application on Tuesday.

Under the strict bail conditions, the pastor is to reside with another pastor at East Honiara, he is not to communicate in any manner whatsoever whether indirectly or directly with any prosecution witnesses particularly the alleged victim, he is not to commit any offence while on bail, he is to report twice a week to Naha Police Station.

Public Prosecutor Olivia Ratu served part disclosures yesterday morning and said police are still investigating.

She said there is difficulty in getting statement from the mother of the alleged victim because of the distance.

Ms Ratu said the village is situated in East Are’are which is close to East Kwaio.

She was informed by Atori police when they first went to the village, the mother of the alleged victim was not at the village.

“She is the only witness whose statement is yet to be obtained.”

Ms Ratu said this witness was out in her garden when police went to the village to get statements from witnesses and therefore will make another attempt to go there to get her statement.

She said photographs are still with Forensic officers and are yet to be printed and given to them.

Mr Iomea adjourned the matter to June 4, to which he said is for a possible plea.

The SSEC pastor who could not be named to protect the identity of the 14-year-old victim has been accused of raping a church youth at around 7pm on 25 July 2014.

Prosecution alleged the accused and the alleged victim are also related.

The alleged incident occurred when the alleged victim was attending a youth program.

It was alleged the 14-year-old girl went outside to ring the church bell when the accused allegedly followed and raped her under the church bell.

--Solomon Star

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