Pretoria – The Catholic priest accused of making sexual advances towards a 17-year-old boy was released on R2 000 bail on Monday.
Once known as one of Pretoria’s most-loved priests, he appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court wearing dark tracksuit pants and a bright green T-shirt.
He kept his head bowed throughout his 30-minute bail application, only looking at the magistrate when directly addressed.
The priest – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was arrested on Friday, although it appears the allegations stem from some time ago.
It is alleged he made sexual advances towards the teenager who had come to him for a confession.
It is alleged that while the boy waited for his parents to fetch him, he was offered alcohol, and shown a DVD of a pornographic nature by the priest.
It was unclear whether this incident occurred at the church where the priest had ministered before, or at his current church in the east of Pretoria.
An incomplete charge sheet was presented to the court with not much detail about the alleged crime.
However, it did state that the accused was facing several charges under the sexual offences act including indecent assault, sexual assault, grooming and exposing of genitals.
His attorney put it to the court that his client had no intention to interfere with witnesses.
Enough time had elapsed since the date of the alleged assault and the arrest, he argued, adding that the accused had not tried to make contact with the alleged victim.
It was also placed on record that the priest has been put on administrative leave by the archbishop and suspended from all pastoral duties until the conclusion of the matter.
The accused would no longer reside at his usual address but be under the care of Archbishop William Slattery at his residence in Waterkloof, the court was told.
Just after 2pm the priest walked out of court with a book, titled Faces of Holiness II, bearing the face of the crucified Jesus, covering his face.
The case was postponed.
Pretoria Catholic priest gets R2,000 bail in sexual assault case
A Catholic priest was granted R2,000 bail after appearing in court on charges of sexual assault, Beeld reported on Tuesday.
The 44-year-old priest from Waterkloof had allegedly made a 17-year-old boy watch a pornographic DVD and showed him his genitals.
The priest was reportedly on compulsory leave until the matter was completed.
He has to stay with the archbishop of Pretoria, William Slattery, and is not allowed to preach or have contact with his congregation.
The priest was expected to appear in court again in April.
Catholic priest arrested for sexual abuse
A Lynnwood priest appeared in court on Monday after he was arrested on charges of sexual assault.
Pretoria East Rekord
A Lynnwood Catholic priest appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday after he was arrested on Friday on charges related to the Sexual Offences Act, the police said on Monday. “The victim opened a case in terms of the act and the priest was arrested on Friday,” said the police spokesperson, Lieutenant Linda Jerling.
This comes after a 17-year-old boy laid a complaint at the church on 19 January of inappropriate sexual misconduct against the priest. “The complainant and his family were urged by the chancellor of the archbishop to open a police case,” said the chancellor of the archbishop of Pretoria.
According to the Pretoria archdiocese, the priest was placed on administrative leave immediately after the initial complaint in January.
“The church is taking this matter very seriously and will not be funding his defence. We are offering protection of all the minors and adults who may have been directly or indirectly involved in this case, their families and their good name,” the archdiocese of Pretoria’s spokesperson, Anna Cox, told Rekord.
This is the first incident to be reported in a Pretoria Catholic church, however, a German Catholic priest was on trial in September at the Brits Magistrate’s Court after facing several charges of sexual abuse.
The South African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) stated that a protocol was in place to investigate complaints of child abuse. “The SACBC is in the process of promulgating a protection of minors policy that sets down procedures to ensure a safe church environment for minors,” said Cox.
Priest accused of sexual abuse gets bail
Eye Witness news
17 February 2014
JOHANNESBURG – Leaders of various catholic churches in Pretoria say their members have been left completely shaken following allegations of sexual abuse against a local priest.
The priest was granted bail by the Pretoria Magistrates Court yesterday.
He was arrested on Friday after a family claimed that his conduct towards one of their children was inappropriate.
He has since been barred from preaching as the police investigation commences.
Father Chris Townsend says he is offering support to those who are struggling to come to terms with the claims.
“The reaction has been very sad. A lot of people are very angry, shaken and upset. Some are saying it’s impossible while others are saying they don’t know what to do going forward.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng police arrested a 53-year-old pastor earlier this month for being in possession of child pornography.
He was allegedly in possession of naked images of young girls on his cellphone.
The man has already appeared in court and will appear again on 5 March.
(Edited by Gia Kaplan)
Pretoria priest held on sex abuse charges
News 24 (sanenewsinformer.co.za)
Pretoria – A Catholic priest in Pretoria has been arrested for sexually abusing a minor, despite the family being initially reluctant to lay charges.
The priest was arrested last week on charges relating to inappropriate conduct with a minor, the chancellor of the Archbishop of Pretoria, Father Robert Mphiwe, told the Pretoria News.
The family was initially reluctant to lay a charge but after receiving assistance from Mphiwe, went to the police.
The church has also started its own investigation.
A German Catholic priest was arrested last year and appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court for charges relating to sexually abusing children.
The global Catholic church organisation has for years come under fire for protecting priests accused of abusing children.