Kenyans.co.ke [Nairobi, KE]
July 12, 2023
By Kioko Nyamasyo
A 39-year-old Kenyan priest was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, July 11, by Jamaican police officers who accused him of four criminal counts.
The priest, a parishioner at the Roman Catholic Church in Portmore, St Catherine, faced defilement charges in the report first published by Jamaica Gleaner.
According to Jamaican authorities, the charges were filed against the priest after a complainant positively identified him during an identification parade.
His identity was also confirmed during a question-and-answer interview with his attorney, the police added.
The police revealed that the alleged offences were committed on the afternoon of Sunday, March 19, 2023, but were reported to authorities on June 23, 2023.
Victims who spoke with the police further accused the deacons of kidnapping them. It was yet to be established whether the priest was arraigned or had taken plea in the case.
While withholding the name of the priest to respect his privacy, the police requested anyone who may possess additional information regarding the case to come forward and assist in the investigations.
Detectives also emphasised that they were committed to ensuring justice for all victims of sexual offences.
The Catholic Church in Jamaica acknowledged receiving a report of the arrest and was cooperating with the police to unravel the case.
In response to the report, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston confirmed that the priest was promptly removed from all active pastoral ministries.
“The Church wishes to express publicly its deep concern for all parties involved in this reported incident,” the statement read in part.
Should he be found guilty, the priest risks a minimum of 15 years in jail and deportation after serving his full sentence.