Police have launched an investigation following allegations of sexual misconduct by a clergyman at one of the major Christian denominations in Hong Kong.
A 52-year-man filed a complaint with the Wan Chai Police Station on Tuesday, seeking action on reports that a now-retired Anglican minister had misbehaved sexually with at least two churchgoers many years ago.
After looking into the complaint by the man, who belongs to the Hong Kong Anglican Church, which is known locally as Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH), authorities listed the case as a request for police investigation.
According to a hk01.com report, two churchgoers had revealed that they had been indecently assaulted by a male priest in the past. In the incidents that allegedly took place in 2004 and 2007, an Anglican minister is said to have put his hand into the men’s pants and touched their genitals.
The priest worked for the Diocese of Hong Kong Island of the HKSKH, according to the two men, who said they did not file a police report afterwards because they were afraid.
One of the two claimed that he was underage when the assault took place.
In response to media inquiries, HKSKH Provincial Secretary General Peter Douglas Koon admitted that the church had been aware of the allegations. Senior church officials held a discussion, though no records were kept on the matter, according to him.
Expressing its deep concern in a statement Tuesday, the HKSKH said it had made a report to the police for follow up so as to safeguard all parties involved.
The HKSKH confirmed that the then Diocesan General Secretary and the Archbishop were informed by some church members verbally on their concern regarding the alleged misconduct of one of its clergymen in November 2007.
After conducting inquiries and consulting the chancellor, church officials sent out a message that the victims should substantiate the allegations with evidence for follow up, according to the statement.
However, it was informed subsequently that the men did not want to proceed further with the matter. Also, as the identity of the people involved in the matter had not been disclosed to the church, it became impossible for the church to take any further action, the statement said.
Following the new compliant over the issue on Tuesday, the crime squad (1) of the Wan Chai police district, which is following up on the case, has urged the victims of the alleged indecent assaults to get in touch with the investigators.
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