Too many men preying on young girls

January 13, 2017
Pastor Rupert Clarke being led from the St Elizabeth Parish Court earlier this month after appearing on a charge of having sex with a minor. Also seen in the picture is Heather Murray, who was present at the hearing.

The case of Heather Murray, the beleaguered principal of Hampton High School for Girls, is a perfect example of how we Jamaicans can get so easily distracted from the more important issues.

It is also another example of how religion turns intelligent people into idiots.

The quick back story is that Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is alleged to have been caught by police in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in his car and charged him. He was brought to court and released on $800,000 bail. Murray, who describes herself as a friend of Yvonne Clarke, the pastor's wife, appeared at the court hearing, and went as far as to shield the accused pastor from the media.

In her defence, she said she was only supporting the pastor's wife, but has since apologised and described her actions as inappropriate. She has also been sent on leave by the school?s board, even as people are lobbying for her to be fired.

The bigger issue is, however, that it has distracted us from a serious issue in this country.




Men have been preying on underage girls for aeons, impregnating and abandoning them, infecting them with sexually transmitted infections, and leaving many of them scarred for life.

It is a practice that needs to be dealt with by strong enforcement of the law. Men who exploit these young girls need to be prosecuted to send the message that this practice will no longer be tolerated in this country.

As a man, it sickens me that grown men would even think of having sexual relations with girls young enough to be their daughters and granddaughters.

They and the people who facilitate the perpetration of these egregious habits need to feel the full brunt of the law.

What doesn't surprise me is that a lot of pastors are guilty of similar offences, but are protected by people who should know better.

However, they turn a blind eye and keep their mouths shut, because, for some reason, once someone becomes a pastor, he becomes like a god to the people in his parish.

In this case with Pastor Clarke, people are talking about him being 'innocent until proven guilty'. These are the same people who are willing to condone the police killing someone without having given them benefit of due process. The hypocrisy is startling, if not surprising.

That is what religion can do to rational people. It makes them take leave of their senses. Just ask Heather Murray.

Send comments to

Other Commentary Stories