The accused will be required to return to court on July 15, 2020, for an official hearing.
Trigger warning: This report contains details of sexual assault that readers may find disturbing
A 56-year-old bishop and businessman from St. Catherine, Jamaica has been charged with sexual assault following a number of serious allegations. Clergyman Winston Campbell was accused of tricking two female visitors to the church to have sex with him. He went on to claim that this act was necessary to "cast demons out of the women." Following his arrest, he had been granted bail in the amount of $2 million, Loop Jamaica reports.
Police reported that Campell was charged with rape and obtaining money by false pretenses after he allegedly also had the women pay him to cover costs associated with the arrangements for the act. The bishop was officially given his bail amount on Friday and has also been ordered to suspend all preaching activities until the determination of the matter. He is now required to return to court on July 15, 2020, for an official hearing.
The allegations that popped up against the bishop were aplenty between 2014 and 2018 when he was accused of sexually assaulted two of the women in his congregation. He tricked the women into believing that they were demonically possessed and could only be healed by this "special" act. During the request for bail, defense attorney Peter Champaigne argued that the prosecution did not state that those who made the complaints were suffering from any mental illness. The discretion and state of mind of the women were called into question, as was the truthfulness of their accounts. Meanwhile, fellow attorney for the defense, Kemar Robinson, argued that the accounts of both the women were similar and raised concerns about the testimony of the second woman. He also stated that these reports were not made to the police until years after the incident allegedly took place.
Ignorance and miseducation— Patricia Brown (@browngriselda53) June 27, 2020
According to the prosecution, the two women, who are in their twenties, would reportedly accompany the bishop over the years to a guesthouse along the Port Henderson Road, commonly called Backroad, where he sexually assaulted them to "rid them of their demons." What is certain is that the upcoming hearing will determine the verdict of the accused, but with the Bishop's lawyers questioning the victim's testimonies, there may yet be matters left unsaid.
In related news, a woman claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a priest from Mount Saint Benedict in Trinidad. The abbey said that the allegations in the video are currently under review. “We shall continue to monitor our policies and controls to prevent incidents of this nature,” it said in a statement on its Facebook page yesterday. “Such actions are contrary to the principles and teachings of the Church and monastic life. We shall be in contact with the young woman concerning the contents of the video and we extend our prayers and support to her at this time,” stated the abbey.
“He was a teacher here and also a priest. He had an office in the back…and this is where the first incident happened where he told me if I say anything or do anything or even murmur anything to my mother that I would die and he will kill my whole family,” the victim said. “And then I start to wonder who God they really serving if you’re telling me you will kill my whole family and you take my innocence away from me. He just grab me by my two hands. I was just seven years of age. This man (name called) raped me….,” she revealed.