A Magistrate Court has committed a pastor to the High Court for sentencing after convicting him of r*ping a 22-year-old woman he had promised to pray for.
The court was convinced that on June last year, Pastor James had unlawful carnal knowledge of the woman without her consent.
In his judgement, magistrate Musonda said there was overwhelming evidence from the State witnesses that the s*xual intercourse between him and the woman was not consensual.
“I am satisfied that the s*xual intercourse was not consensual. I have more than enough evidence from independent witnesses to support the complainant’s testimony
“The prosecution has, therefore, managed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, and I find the accused guilty of r*pe, and I convict him accordingly,” Musonda rules.
He told Pastor James the offence carries a minimum sentence of 15 years, which is beyond the jurisdiction of a subordinate court, hence his sentence will be pronounced by the High Court.
During trial, the woman testified that on the material day, she was attending interdenominational prayers and that the accused was the one conducting the prayers.
She narrated that after the prayers ended, Pastor James got her phone and saved his phone number and asked her to call him as he had a vision about her.
“The following day around 05:00 hours, he called me saying he had another vision about me and that I should go to his house where he could tell me in the presence of other church members about the vision he had about me,” she said.
The victim told the court that she went to the pastor’s house but did not find any other church member apart from him.
“I waited for other members but they never came. The pastor then locked the door and twisted my hand and tore the pants and cycling trunks I was wearing and had s*x with me,” she said.
The court heard that after the r*pe ordeal, James got a knife and cafemol (a pain killer) and threatened to kill the woman if she refused taking it.