She trusted him. After all, he preached righteousness and holiness every Sunday at African Divine Church where she worshipped.

When Pastor Patrick Ambani defiled her for the first time, Mary (not her real name) was confused.

Later, she realised, it would be his word against hers. His, she believed, would pass unquestioned, so Mary chose silence.

Ambani has pleaded not guilty and has been in police cells for a month because he is unable to raise Sh300,000 bail.

She told Kibera law courts magistrate Barbara Ojoo on Tuesday that it all started in 2015, when the pastor visited the house where she lived with her grandmother.

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Granny was away but he asked if he could stay and watch a movie.

“He knocked on the door and when I opened it he asked if my grandmother was in. When I told him that I was alone, he got in, sat on a chair and asked me to allow him to watch a movie,” Mary said.

Moments later, Mary said, Pastor Ambani left his seat and moved closer to her.

“He held my shoulder and asked me to relax with him.

 “I was shocked but I did nothing because he is a pastor. All he wanted was to relax, I thought in my head,”  Mary said. 

She knew, however, that the clergyman had stripped off his religious robes and turned against his flock when Ambani began touching her sexually.

“He touched my chest and lifted me up onto his lap where he continued caressing me. I was totally confused and scared,” she said.

Ambani then proceeded to undress and defile Mary. Afterwards, she said, the accused ‘rewarded’ her with Sh50 chips and told her not to tell anyone.

That was the first of many visits that the pastor made for the same reason.

“After that day, Ambani kept visiting when my grandmother was away and each time, he would defile me,” she said.

This continued for three years as the minor suffered in silence.

“I was in pain but when I informed him, he laughed sarcastically. He kept on coming to our house and defiling me. Other times, he would force me to visit his house where he defiled me” she said.

During the hearing of the case yesterday, the minor’s grandmother told the court that her neighbours told her that they suspected that her pastor was defiling Mary.

“My neighbour told me that he saw the accused person leaving my house several times and said they suspected that he was defiling my grandchild. I asked Mary and she confirmed that she was indeed being abused,” she testified.

The woman took the girl to Nairobi Women’s Hospital where she was treated. She also filed a report at Kabete Police Station. the accused was arrested and arraigned.

Ambani is accused of committing one offence on July 14, 2 018, at her grandmother’s house in Nairobi.

He pleaded with the magistrate to lower his cash bail,  saying he had been in remand for more than a month and could not raise the amount.

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Ojoo denied the request and directed that the hearing continues next month.

Akello Odenyo and Clause Masika/The Star