NEWS

Pastor On Remand, Awaits Bail Hearing

It is alleged that on March 21, 2019, Chand unlawfully and indecently assaulted the complainant by kissing her.
28 Mar 2019 10:00
Pastor On Remand, Awaits Bail Hearing
Pastor Ravinesh Chand at the Magistrates Court in Nausori on March 27, 2019. Photo: Ashna Kumar

A36-year-old pastor of Nausori appeared at the Magistrates Court in Nausori yesterday.

Pastor Ravinesh Chand is charged with three counts of rape and one count each of sexual assault and indecent assault.

He appeared before Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne.

It is alleged that on March 21, 2019, Chand unlawfully and indecently assaulted the complainant by kissing her.

On the same day, Chand is alleged to have sexually assaulted the victim and raped her on three occasions.

The accused is alleged to have committed the offence on a 15-year- old girl.

Police prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that the case was of public interest, the complainant was from the same congregation, it was a breach of trust and the offence was indictable.

Defence lawyer Jitend Reddy told the court that the accused was willing to relocate to Labasa during the duration of his case, which would curtail the problem of interference with prosecution witnesses.

He also told the court that the accused had an impersonation conviction in 2007.

Mr Reddy told the court that Chand was willing to look for a job and earn and would not continue to work as a pastor, which would keep him away from members of the public.

He said the seriousness of the offence was not a predominant factor and submitted to the court that he did not want to punish a person by keeping him in remand until he was proven guilty as charged.

Chand was remanded in custody and will have his bail hearing heard this morning.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj


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