Loop News [Kingston, Jamaica]
July 23, 2023
Exception only for court dates as part of tough $800,000 bail conditions
Kenyan Roman Catholic priest Lawrence Muvengi who is facing sexual abuse charges allegedly involving a 12-year-old schoolgirl, is not to return to the parish of St Catherine except for court, as part of conditions attached to his $800,000 bail.
The clergyman was granted bail by Parish Judge Natalie Creary-Dixon following a bail application on his behalf in the St Catherine Parish Court last week.
The judge ordered that Muvengi should report to the Matilda’s Corner Police Station in St Andrew three times weekly, and he is not to be seen in the parish of St Catherine on days when he is not in the parish for court appearances.
Further, the Kenyan was ordered to surrender his travel documents to the authorities, and a stop order has been imposed at all ports of entry nationally.
The case is to be mentioned in court again on September 27.
The charges against the 39-year-old accused include sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years, sexual touching of a child, grievous sexual assault, and abduction of a child less than 16 years.
The police said the alleged offences were committed on the afternoon of Sunday, March 19, 2023, but were only reported to the authorities on June 23, 2023.
The incidents allegedly involving a 12-year-old primary school student reportedly took place at a Roman Catholic Church in Portmore, St Catherine.
According to the police, reports are that the priest befriended the child and lured her to his home, where he allegedly assaulted her.
The charges were filed after the man was positively identified by the complainant on an identification parade, and a question-and-answer interview was conducted with the suspect in the presence of his attorney, the police said.