A Roman Catholic priest from Gokomere llegedly raped a 17-year-old girl who was working for him, then later asked her to marry him to cover up the crime has been arrested.
The priest was last week arraigned before the courts to answer to charges of rape.
He was charged with contravening section 65 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 rape, when he appeared before Masvingo magistrate Mr Walter Chikwanha and was remanded out of custody to next week.
The incident allegedly occurred at the church where the man of the cloth and the maid were staying.
The court heard through the prosecutor, Mr Motion Njaravani, that sometime in August this year, the clergyman engaged the 17-year-old girl — who also happens to be a Catholic in the Gokomere area of Chief Zimuto — as a maid and went to Mwenezi with her.
It was the State’s case that sometime in September this year there was a party at the church and the maid was asked to help prepare and serve food for the guests.
When she knocked at the priest’s door to advise him that the time was ready for her to go to the party, he asked her in and allegedly raped her once.
He allegedly threatened to fire her if she reported the offence to anyone and further promised not to do it again and the girl did not report the case.
On 18 October in the evening, the court was told, the priest went to the maid’s room and told her they had visitors. He woke the maid up and asked her to prepare food for the visitors.
While she was preparing the food the priest came and stood behind her and allegedly caressed her. He then took her to his bedroom where he locked the door and allegedly raped her.
After he had allegedly raped her, he asked the girl to marry him saying they were in love.
The girl made a report to Masvingo provincial police victim friendly unit while the priest was in Mutare for a church meeting.
The Catholic priest was represented by Mr Isaiah Muzenda of Muzenda and Partners Legal Practitioners.