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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 21, 2023: An African-born Roman Catholic priest in Jamaica, accused of assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Portmore, St. Catherine, was released on J $800,000 bail Wednesday after an appearance at St Catherine Parish Court.

Father Lawrence Muvengi, who is from Kenya, is now required to report to Matilda’s Corner Police Station on specified days, surrender travel documents, and not be seen in St Catherine, except for court.

The allegations state that Father Muvengi sexually abused a 12-year-old schoolgirl who attends his church and whom he befriended.

The alleged assault occurred on church premises at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Portmore, Jamaica. in March but was only reported to the police in June.

Father Muvengi, 39, faces charges of sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual touching, grievous sexual assault, and child abduction. He was positively identified by the complainant, leading to the filing of charges.

The JCF emphasized its commitment to ensuring justice for all victims of sexual offences and encourages anyone with additional information about the case to come forward.

The Roman Catholic Diocese in Jamaica says Father Muvengi has been removed from service pending the outcome of the case. He is set to return to court in September.

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