Jury finds former priest not guilty of sexual abuse charges

By Kaitlin Johnson And Arianna Martinez
October 23, 2019

[with video]

A Parmer County jury found Peter Wafula, the former priest accused of sexual abuse of a child, not guilty today.

The courtroom heard the closing statements today before the jury went into deliberations. During the closing statements, the defense told the courtroom, “There is no greater crime on earth than to convict an innocent man.”

On the other hand, the prosecution said, “A person who knows he should never be alone with a child has him alone in a place where he has control.”

The jury had three options to consider, including indecency with a child, assault or not guilty. They came back with the not guilty verdict in just over an hour.

Wafula’s attorney, Dan Hurley, issued a written statement about the verdict:

We’re so thankful that the jury in this case had the courage to follow the law and render the verdict that justice required. On behalf of Peter Wafula and his supporters, we express our extreme gratitude for the jury’s service. As a black African accused in far West Texas of a horrible crime he did not commit, Peter Wafula will never forget this day.
Dan Hurley

Wafula served in Hereford, Friona and Bovina before he was removed form the ministry in 2018.

During the trial, the courtroom heard from witnesses, including priests who worked with Wafula, the child’s family, the child himself, some of the child’s friends and more.

Wafula has been acquitted of all charges.


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