SCOTLAND – The leader and founder of the Agape for All Nations Ministries International church based in Scotland, Dr Walter Masocha appeared at the Alloa Sheriff court to face charges of engaging in sexual activity with a number of girls, the youngest aged just 12.
The Zimbabwean Bishop is accused of making underage teenage girls massage his naked body. Masocha allegedly induced a 15-year-old and 12-year-old to perform the act on him on various occasions at an address in Sauchieburn and Crieff Hydro Hotel between 2012 and 2013.
The 50-year-old is also accused of sexual assault on a woman and engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl during the same period.
Masocha, founder of Agape For All Nations Ministries International, whose headquarters are in Stirling, appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court this week to face the five charges.
He pleaded not guilty to alleged incidents, on various occasions between May 17, 2013 and July 31, 2013, at Crieff Hydro Hotel and another location, engaging in sexual activity with a 14 year-old girl by inducing her to massage him using oils.
The church website had said Masocha, a former lecturer, was the leader of Agape For All Nations Ministries International, a “fast-growing church established in August 2007”.
Mention of Masocha has since been removed from the website.
A spokesman for the church confirmed last year that Masocha was on a “leave of absence” from his role as archbishop.
During an appearance in court on Tuesday, Masocha’s defence agent lodged a motion to adjourn the case for a further first diet before trial which was originally set for January 12.
He said the three charges relating to massaging were not on the original petition when Masocha appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court in January last year and asked for time to prepare.
He said: “It relates to the operation of the church and practices and relationship between the accused and the complainers.”
Asked by Sheriff John Rafferty to clarify what he meant, the defence added he needed to look into how the church operates and the “nature of the relationship” between the parties.
A new trial date has been set for April 13 at Falkirk Sheriff Court.
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