A Seventh Day Adventist church pastor who used force to fondle a church member’s breasts and buttocks has been given a light sentence by the court.
A Zimbabwean court has sentenced a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) pastor in Bulawayo who indecently assaulted a married female congregant who is also a prominent city lawyer to undergo 315 hours of community service.
The pastor identified as Brighton Ndebele (31) of Emganwini suburb was on Wednesday convicted of indecent assault by Bulawayo magistrate Ms Adelaide Mbeure.
It was gathered that the man had on April 20 this year at around midday gone to the complainant’s workplace to discuss church business since the complainant is also the head of social committees in the church.
The court heard that after the discussion and when he was about to leave office, the pastor solicited for a hug from the complainant and she declined.
The pastor forcefully pulled the woman by the hand and squeezed her to his chest, before holding her waist and caressing her back and buttocks.
The complainant narrated her ordeal to a fellow congregant before she reported the matter to the police, leading to Ndebele’s arrest.
He was sentenced to 12 months in jail of which three months were suspended for three years on condition that he does not within that period commit a similar crime.
The remaining nine months were further suspended on condition that Ndebele performs 315 hours of community service at Hillside Police Station.