Former Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) pastor Marlon Holder appeared before a Scarborough Magistrate on Tuesday on six charges of sexual assault.
He is on $100,000 bail with surety clerk of the peace approval.
Holder appeared before Scarborough Magistrate Nannette Forde-John, and was not called upon to plead as the charges were laid indictably. Holder faced three charges of indecent sexual assault and three charges of having sex with a female, between the age of 14-16 years. He was charged by Acting Corporal Cavelle Walters. Holder was picked up at his rented apartment in Sou Sou Lands, shortly before midnight on Monday.
The court heard the incidents took place between July 1 and 31, 2011, and January 1 and December 31, 2011. The acts were committed at his former home in Betty's Hope and at another house located at Patience Hill. The victim was formerly a member of his congregation and was 15 years old at the time of the incident. The matter has been adjourned to August 20.
Contacted for a comment on the matter secretary/treasurer of the Tobago SDA Mission Pastor Clyde Lewis pointed out that the church had already taken action to deal with the matter.
“The pastor in question has resigned from the ministry effective June 30, 2013 and the matter is now in the hands of the police,” confirmed Pastor Lewis.
Questioned, why the church took so long to deal with the situation, Lewis pointed out that the hierarchy of the church did everything to support Holder.
“We arranged several counselling sessions with him hoping that he would mend his ways,” said Pastor Lewis.