Church silent as pastor hit with buggery charge

May 09, 2017
Superintendent Clive Blair, who heads the Trelawny Police.

Western Bureau:

The New Testament Church of God in Bunkers Hill, Trelawny, was clearly not a happy place on Sunday. While members were out in their numbers for morning service, it was quite obvious that the recent arrest of their leader, Pastor Presley Smith, had dampened their spirits.

The 27-year-old Smith was arrested last Friday, accused of grievous sexual assault, buggery and gross indecency against a 15-year-old boy, who is said to be a member of his congregation.

According to a member of the community, Smith recently baptised the young man he is now accused of molesting.

When the WESTERN STAR tried to get a comment from a member of Smith's congregation about the very serious charges against him, she turned her face away, started humming a song and quickened her steps. Other church members took a similar stance, refusing to discuss the matter.

Superintendent Clive Blair, the commanding officer for the Trelawny police, said Smith's arrest came after the matter was thoroughly investigated.

"Our understanding is that the alleged offences were committed over a period of time on a 15-year-old student of one of the high schools in the parish," Blair said.

When the WESTERN STAR reached out to Bishop Lloyd Lawrence, president of the Trelawny Ministers Fraternal, he said: "Before you go any further, I have no comment."

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