‘Archbishop’ found guilty of sexual abuse

Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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A FORMER university lecturer who founded a church and called himself “The Prophet” has been found guilty of sexually molesting members of his congregation.

Walter Masocha, 51, “Archbishop” of the Stirling-based Agape for All Nations Church, groped a young deaconess while he was supposed to be praying for her stomach complaint and put his hand down the trousers of a schoolgirl, saying he was trying to remove demons.

The deaconess, a 32-year-old mother-of-four, was also told Masocha had been “trying to remove ‘something’ from her genitals”. The schoolgirl, aged 15, was left in tears after Masocha “pinged” her knicker elastic and pinched her bottom, claiming she had ants or demons in her pants.

Both were targeted between 2012 and 2014 at Masocha’s £500,000 seven-bedroom mansion, Coseyneuk House, near Stirling, where the Zimbabwe-born churchman received a steady stream of followers.

After a six-day trial, a jury of seven men and seven women at Falkirk Sheriff Court took less than 30 minutes to find Masocha guilty of sexually assaulting the deaconess and sexually touching the underage girl.

Masocha, in a hand-made suit with velvet collar, stood expressionless in the dock as the verdicts were announced.

On the public benches his wife Judith – styled The Prophetess within the church –

appeared to dab her nose with a tissue.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan ordered that Masocha’s name should be entered on the sex offenders’ register and deferred sentence, continuing bail, until 19 May for reports, to include an assessment of the risk Masocha poses to other women and girls.During the trial, the schoolgirl, now 16, said she regarded Masocha as her “spiritual father”, and like many people in the church called him “Dad”.

She said in late 2013 she was with four other girls in an upstairs games room when Masocha came in.

Giving evidence by video link, she said she had been wearing “stretchy trousers”.

She said: “He waved me over. He placed his hand round my lower back, and moved his hand down until he got to my underwear, and he sort of pinged my underwear. He repeatedly pinged my underwear, ran his hand down my bottom, and grabbed and pinched my

bottom.”

The girl said she felt violated and later asked Masocha why he had done it. He replied he had seen “demons and things that shouldn’t be there” in her pants and he was clearing them away.

She said: “I just broke into tears because I thought I had been doing things wrong without realising. I felt like I had been bad.”

Mascocha said he would pray to remove the “demons” and left the room.

In another incident, when she was 13 or 14 , she said Masocha had been sitting down at his home, very close to her, advising her about school when he suddenly said, “You’ll always be mine” and kissed her on the lips.

The deaconess said Masocha had hugged her “very intimately”, caressing her back and kissing her round the neck, and saying “receive my love”.

On another occasion, she said she went to his office for prayer with a stomach complaint.

She said: “He said he was going to pray it away. He touched my tummy, then his hand went down my body, on to my private parts.”

Masocha had denied the allegations.

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