Sunday, January 30, 2011

Prosecutors in New York have indicted a Jamaican-born pastor at a Bronx church for allegedly repeatedly raping a teenage girl in his congregation

Prosecutors charged that Michael Clare, the 38-year-old married leader of the Harvest Worship Center in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, repeatedly raped the girl since she was 12 years old. Prosecutors said at his indictment that Clare has impregnated the girl, who is now 15 years old. Authorities said they learned of the alleged abuse in June 2010, when the girl told her parents and police that Clare had sexually preyed on her for years. DNA evidence implicated Clare, prosecutors said. Clare was arrested on June 14, 2010 on second-degree rape charges, but the grand jury upped the charges to first-degree rape. Clare, who is also the principal of Harvest Prep, a school run out of the church, began preaching when he was 11, and became a pastor at 26, according to court documents. Clare is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond. He faces up to 25 years in state prison if convicted of first-degree rape.

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