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Pastor in court for child rape

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Pastor threatened to “lock her up in the mortuary fridge with corpses” should she tell anyone about the alleged rapes.

Lawrence Thapelo Peterson

A 49-YEAR-old pastor, accused of raping a Kimberley girl over a seven-year period, from when she was only six years old, made his first appearance in the sexual offences unit at the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Lawrence Thapelo Peterson, 49, who is a pastor at the Orion International Church and also a funeral undertaker at Tusano Funeral Service in Trompsburg, was arrested in February 2019.

He is facing allegations of raping a now 13-year-old Kimberley girl from 2011, when she was only six years old, until 2018.

According to the young complainant, Peterson threatened to “lock her up in the mortuary fridge with corpses” should she tell anyone about the alleged rapes.

Peterson made his first appearance in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court’s sexual offences unit yesterday, where the matter was postponed to next month, for legal representation.

Peterson remains in custody after he was denied bail in March by Magistrate Kubashni Padayachee, who at the time said that no bail condition imposed would prevent Peterson from potentially harming small children, who would still see him as a pastor and approach him in this capacity, should he be released on bail.