BISHOP’S FAMILY UPSET OVER GAY RUMOURS …Says funeral being planned for relatives in Rio Cobre crash
... Says funeral being planned for relatives in Rio Cobre crash
Family members of the Bishop Steven Ricketts, who died when his car plunged into the Rio Cobre on Saturday, have vowed to clear his name following a flood of allegations that he had a liking to young boys.
"I try not to read some of the things that people are saying because I don't see or know him as that kind of person, and I am always around him," a cousin of Ricketts told THE STAR last night.
"All of us are upset, angry and disgusted. Most of my family members don't want to hear or read anything about this," she said.
Bishop Ricketts and his two sons Shevaughnie and Sujay Ricketts were among six persons who died when his Suzuki Grand Vitara ran off the Flat Bridge and plunged into the Rio Cobre.
Eight persons were travelling in the vehicle which was said to be returning from a 'duppy catching' mission in St Thomas.
"All the persons who are talking bad things about Steven do not know him," the bishop's cousin added.
While stating that the claims that being made against the defenceless dead man are hurtful, she said that family is now focused on burying Steven and his two sons.
"We are just concentrating on the funeral of our three family members," she said.
Residents of Commodore, St Catherine, have alleged that the bishop would often give boys goods in exchange for sexual favours and that he was not afraid to hide his homosexual tendencies.
Ricketts was also the source of attention in a video on Facebook in which he beat a young man, an alleged boyfriend, with a cutlass.
Up to the point of his death, Ricketts was a defendant in a court case for burning a young man with hot water.
Bishop Ricketts was the head of the Mount Maria Zion Truth Fellowship Spiritual Church of God in Commodore. He was described by some community members as a man who loved to help people, and contributed to community development.
Hamlet Gordon-Simpson, a member of the church and close friend of Ricketts, attested to this.
"He was a people person, he's one Jamaica will miss. He was a Jamaica building person, community helper," she said.