Fiji police release pastor accused of child sex abuse

Radio New Zealand [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 17, 2021

The Methodist pastor in Fiji alleged to have sexually assaulted 14 boys has been questioned and released by police.

The pastor was accused of sexually assaulting the boys while serving on an outer island between 2018 and this year.

Police said the case file had been sent to the force’s Divisional Crime Officer Eastern for further inquiries.

This was not the first time a member of the clergy in Fiji had been accused of sexually abusing women and children.

In December, a judge found a pastor guilty for raping and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl from his church.

The pastor was convicted of three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

For the offence of sexual assault committed on 21 March, 2019, in Nausori, the court found he had unlawfully and indecently assaulted the complainant by kissing her and fondling her breast.

On the rape charge, the court found that he had carnal knowledge with the complainant without her consent.

Last October, a Methodist minister was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the rape and sexual assault of three female church members.

The High Court ruled he had raped two women and sexually assaulted the third woman between May and September of 2018.

In July 2020, a Catholic priest was accused of molesting boys at a school decades ago.

This came to light after one of the alleged victims spoke out about being molested by a priest who had taught at the school when he had been a student there.

In 2006, two Methodist Church members were found guilty by a court for sexually abusing at lease nine secondary schoolgirls aged between 14 and 16 on the remote islands of Gau and Koro.