Jason Rose, the St James-based pastor charged with the rape of a 15-year-old girl, made his first appearance before the St James Circuit Court yesterday, along with his wife, Kemhi Rose, and the girl’s mother, who are also facing related charges.
They were remanded until their next scheduled appearance on October 12.
While not much information was made available from the in-camera hearing, it is understood that all three defendants could be putting in bail applications when they return to court.
Jason Rose is currently being represented by attorney Tamika Spencer-Anderson, and Kemhi Rose is represented by attorney Adrian Dayes. The complainant’s mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter’s identity, is being represented by attorney Martyn Thomas.
The case was previously transferred from the St James Parish Court to the circuit court on September 27, at which time the three defendants were required to settle their legal representation. That date marked the fifth time the pastor appeared before the parish court and the fourth appearance for his wife and the teen’s mother.
Jason Rose first appeared before the parish court on June 14, at which time he was offered bail in the sum of $300,000 on the rape charge. However, he was remanded on June 16 in relation to an additional charge of perverting the course of justice, which the women were also charged with when they first appeared in court on that same date.
On that occasion, all three were denied bail out of concern that they would interfere with the minor.
A gag order was also imposed on the court by presiding parish judge Sasha Ashley concerning the case’s details.
The matter was subsequently mentioned on July 19, and then again on July 23, prior to yesterday’s transferral of the case to be heard before the circuit court. No other specific details were given as to the case’s progression on those dates.
On May 28 this year, the teenage complainant reported that she had been raped by the pastor on his church’s compound, where she had gone to use the facility’s Internet for an educational project.
Subsequent to the pastor’s arrest and charge, Kehmi Rose and the teen’s mother were arrested and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and breaching the Child Care and Protection Act.
The allegations are that on June 10, the victim and her mother visited the offices of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offices and Child Abuse with the intention of giving a statement to the police that the child’s initial rape accusation against the pastor was untrue.
While being interviewed by the police, the complainant reportedly explained that she was being forced to give the second statement by her mother, the accused pastor, and the pastor’s wife in order for the case to be dropped.
The women were then arrested and charged.