Bishop Fraser’s sex case delayed
It seems that Bishop Earl Randy Fraser’s sex case won’t be concluded by the end of this year as presiding Magistrate Carolita Bethell hoped.
Fraser was in court yesterday for the beginning of the defense’s case on allegations that he had sex with a teenage church member who had come to him for counseling. However, the case could not proceed because Fraser’s lead lawyer, Wayne Munroe, was ill. Jairam Mangra, an associate in Munroe’s firm, informed the court of Munroe’s illness and requested an adjournment.
Fraser could take the witness stand today, if his lawyer appears.
Prosecutors allege that Fraser, pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church on St. James Road, abused his position of trust by engaging in a sexual relationship with the 16-year-old girl from June 2005 and February 2006.
The girl alleged that Fraser bought her gifts, gave her lunch money and had sex with her at his marital home and his church’s office.
Acting Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethell has ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to require Fraser to lead a defense to the allegations against him. Fraser said he would take the stand and call 25 witnesses on his behalf.
This is the second time that Fraser has faced a trial on the allegation. Magistrate Marilyn Meeres discharged the case at the end of no case to answer submissions. However, the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial after ruling she had applied the wrong legal principle in reaching her decision.