‘Demons’ driven from schoolgirl’s pants
‘Archbishop’ Walter Masocha, 51, above – a self-proclaimed prophet and founder of the Stirling-based Agape for All Nations Church in Scotland, has been convicted of sexual assault.
According to the BBC, Masocha – aka “The Apostle”, “Man of God”, and “High Commissioner” – was convicted at the end of a six-day trial at Falkirk Sheriff Court of molesting members of his flock, and will be sentenced on May 19.
Masocha was found guilty of putting his hand down a schoolgirl’s trousers, claiming he was driving away demons, and groping a deaconess while praying for her stomach complaint.
Both women were targeted at Masocha’s seven-bedroom mansion, Coseyneuk House, near Stirling, where the Zimbabwe-born churchman regularly received followers.
The 15-year-old girl said many in the church regarded Masocha as their “spiritual father” and called him “Dad”. She said that in late 2013, she had been in a games room at Coseyneuk House when the church leader had repeatedly “pinged” her underwear and grabbed and pinched her bottom.
When she later asked Masocha why he had done it, he told her that he had spotted “demons and things that shouldn’t be there”, and that he was clearing them out of her pants.
The deaconess, a 32-year-old mother-of-four, had visited Masocha’s office for prayer while suffering from a stomach complaint, when he started touching her private parts.
When she told her husband, a devoted member of the church, he told her:
The Prophet is seeing something in your genitals that needs to be removed, so he was removing that.
She left her husband and the church shortly after members had tried to have her sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
She called branded the church a “cult”, and said she had been “brainwashed”.
Masocha denied the allegations, with his defence claiming the deaconess was at the centre of a conspiracy to bring down the church because Masocha had postponed publication of a church magazine she had been working on.
The court heard that the church had grown in eight years from a meeting in Masocha’s living room to an international organisation, with more than 2,000 members in the UK, USA, Canada and Africa.
A jury took 30 minutes to return majority guilty verdicts on the charges of sexually assaulting the deaconess and sexually touching the teenager.
The church leader was earlier found not guilty of two other charges, including one of engaging in sexual behaviour with a 13-year-old girl who retracted her claims that she had been induced to massage his half-naked body with oils.
Sheriff Kenneth McGowan deferred sentence until 19 May for reports, including an assessment of the risk Masocha poses to other women and girls.
Masocha’s name was added to the sex offenders register.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn