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Updated With Video: Man In Court In Connection With Rape Of Pastor’S Wife

3.15pm UPDATE: Thorne Cooper, 18, of East Street, has appeared in court to face charges in connection with the rape of a pastor's wife.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

POLICE have a man in custody in connection with the rape of a pastor’s wife over the weekend, The Tribune understands.

According to a police source the man was taken into custody yesterday morning.

The woman was cleaning the church on Saturday evening when she was approached by a man who she did not know, who forced her to have sex with him.

When The Tribune reported the incident on Tuesday, it sent shockwaves throughout the religious community, causing one religious leader to question where has the fear of God gone.

Grace Community Church Pastor Lyall Bethel said the entire incident speaks to the level of “barbarism” that we, as a country, have fallen into.

Since the publication of the story Pastor Bethel said he was overrun with calls from people inquiring whether his wife was the woman sexually assaulted.

Yesterday he sent a statement urging Bahamians to pray for the pastor’s wife who was raped, rather than attempting to find out who she is.

Mr Bethel also that said neither his wife, nor the wives of any of the other pastors or elders of Grace Community church, was the Deaconess in question.

“Having spent a good portion of yesterday fielding calls from concerned citizens as to whether my wife, or the other pastors’ wives or elders’ wives had been raped due to The Tribune’s headlines “Wife of Pastor Raped in Church” (Tuesday, June 18, 2013), we wish to inform the public that we are grateful and thankful that our wives were not, but remain deeply concerned that a pastor and his family (unnamed out there) are having to go through this trauma, and they need our prayers,” he said.

“Being a well known spokesman for the Church on social issues, the reporter, in failing to reach Christian Council president Rev. Ranford Patterson, called me for a statement – statements that were captured in the news story. Sadly, either because of the person’s failure to read the full story, and only latching on to the headlines and my name being the only pastor mentioned, jumped to the conclusion that it was my wife or a pastor’s wife from Grace Community Church. Again, we are grateful that we are not having to live through this nightmare.

“I would encourage all caring and concerned Bahamians that rather than trying to figure out who the pastor and his deaconess wife is (who for obvious reasons would want their pain to remain a private affair), we all should commit to praying for them and the difficult road ahead of them in terms of healing. Our prayers go out to them, and we urge all women to be mindful of their surrounding and think defensively.”

 Investigations are continuing.

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