Paul Lewis' trial begins

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The trial of Jamaican born United States Evangelist Paul Lewis got underway in the Savanna-la-mar Circuit Court in Westmoreland on Monday.

Reverend Lewis was charged last year with sexually assaulting two minors.

Reverend Lewis, who was in the island on the invitation of a local pastor, is alleged to have carnally abused one and sexually assault the other at a hotel following a crusade in Westmoreland.

In court on Monday, a jury was empanelled following a few hitches and the trial got underway in the late afternoon.

Last week, additional charges of perverting the course of justice were laid against Pastor Lewis him after he was accused of paying off the two witnesses to change their testimonies.

He was again offered bail by the presiding Magistrate, but the Director of Public Prosecution argued that he should have been kept in custody.

However, Appeal Court judge Mr. Justice Dennis Morrison ruled that the prosecutors should have raised their objection to bail while the Magistrate was sitting on the bench.

He was eventually granted bail.

Pastor Lewis, who is the head of the Paul Lewis Ministries, was charged on June 17, 2009 following allegations that he had sex with one of the minors in a Westmoreland hotel and made advances towards the other.