NEWS

Pastor Denies Rape, Sexual Assault Charges

Pastor Ravinesh Chand is charged with three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.
03 May 2019 17:25
Pastor Denies Rape, Sexual Assault Charges
Pastor Ravinesh Chand outside High Court in Suva on April 10, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A 36-year-old Pastor of a Christian Fellowship in Nausori has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault charges.

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

He appeared before Justice Dan­iel Goundar yesterday.

For the offence of sexual assault, it is alleged that Chand on March 21, 2019, at Nausori, unlawfully and indecently assaulted the com­plainant by kissing her and fon­dling her breast.

For the offences of rape, it is alleged that Chand on March 21, 2019, at Nausori, had carnal knowledge with the complainant without the consent of the com­plainant.

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

Representing the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Yogesh Prasad confirmed receiv­ing the bail application of the accused and sought for 14 days to respond.

He also told the court that the state had served the defence with the proposed agreed facts.

Defence lawyer Jitend Reddy had sought seven days to respond to the bail application and two days thereafter to the defence to reply to the state’s stand on the bail application.

He also told the court that in the bail application, it was stated that the accused, if granted bail, will relocate to Labasa which will minimise or have nil chances of interference between the accused and the prosecution witnesses.

Mr Reddy also told the court that the accused had proposed a $5000 cash bail bond.

He also sought three days to respond to the proposed agreed facts served by the prosecution.

Justice Goundar had ordered the state to respond to the bail appli­cation by 3pm on May 10 and the defence to reply to that response by May 15.

The matter was adjourned to May 15 for bail hearing. The ac­cused was remanded in custody.

Edited by Percy Kean



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