BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Former Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke, who pleaded guilty last November to having sex with two sisters under the age of consent, was sentenced yesterday in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court to 16 years hard labour.
The sentence is to be served concurrently, which means he will spend eight years in prison.
Justice Martin Gayle also ruled that Clarke will be formally registered as a sex offender.
On the night of December 28, 2016, the police reported that a team on patrol on the Austin main road in the Myersville area of south-eastern St Elizabeth found Clarke with a young girl in a “compromising position” in his parked motor vehicle.
Clarke was immediately taken into police custody. He was granted bail in the sum of $800,000 on January 4, 2017.
Further police investigations revealed that Clarke also had a sexual relationship with the child’s older sister while she was under 16, the age of consent. The older sister had a child for Clarke, investigations showed.
Justice Gayle chided the former pastor for what he described as his participation in activities which he preached against as immoral. The judge said that in passing sentence, he took into consideration character references offered by a number of individuals as well as a report from the community.
Following the sentencing, Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Audley Gordon described the judge’s ruling as fair.
Defence attorney Deborah Martin declined to comment on the judgement. She said any decision to appeal against the ruling would be up to Clarke.