In December, a 64-year-old Moravian pastor in Jamaica was arrested by the police after he was allegedly caught in a compromising position with a teenager in his car. Rupert Clarke appeared in court just last Wednesday, January 4 and was granted bail in the sum of J$800,000 (US$6,211). He is scheduled to re-appear in court on the 13th of February.
As he awaits his court session, more of the pastor’s sexual misconducts seem to be emerging as his legal troubles mount. A former Moravian minister shared his incite on the scandal where he said that the church is partly to blame.
Dr. Canute Thompson, who was an official of the church almost two years, told the Jamaica Observer newspaper that the allegation against Clarke was not the first ever brought to focus. Thompson who was dismissed from his post because of “disrespect” for the church’s leadership, revealed that he remembers a time in 2014 when he had to call on the head of the church, Dr. Paul Gardner, to investigate Clarke on a similar charge. He claimed that his concerns were ignored and the church failed to appropriately handle charges of misconduct, including “different rules for different individuals”.
“I have consistently raised with the church, going back to the 80s, what I have seen as double standards,” Thompson told the newspaper.
When asked to comment on Dr. Thompson’s assertion, Dr. Gardner said that he had received no previous complaints against Clarke. Thompson countered by releasing a series of emails with Dr. Gardner about allegations against Clarke. One of the emails published by the Jamaica Gleaner, dated the 3rd of February, 2014, revealed that Gardner responded to Thompson’s concerns about Clarke.
“I appreciate (your) bringing the matter about Rupert to my attention. We are doing what we can to ascertain the facts and act accordingly,” Gardner had responded.