A 31-year-old Seventh Day Adventist pastor who was accused of raping a maid before asking her to pray for forgiveness has escaped the jail agony by a whisker after Harare magistrate cleared him.
Basil Michael Green, who told the court in his defence that the charges were fabricated, walked free on Friday after his lawyer Simon Mupindu applied for discharge at the close of the state's case.
Regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa ruled that the state had failed to prove a prima facie case against Green. Prosecutors had accused Green of raping the 21-year-old maid on September 20 this year in Wilmington Park, Harare.
Allegations were that he called the girl into the main house and asked her to assist him wash the dishes since his wife had gone to their rural home. The woman agreed and went into the kitchen where she started washing the dishes, the court had been told.
It was alleged Green raped the woman and threatened to kill her if she disclosed the incident. The state further accused Green of warning the woman against telling anyone about the rape, arguing that it would ruin his life and would result in the woman losing her job..
Green, according to state papers, asked that they pray so that God would forgive him for the sin that he had committed. The court heard that Green prayed but the woman continued crying.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Green's arrest.