Church faces fire on sex 'monster' pastor

Local | Sophie Hui 25 Jun 2018

The Brotherly Love Swatow Baptist Church has vowed support for victims after a former pastor admitted to sexually harassing female congregation members and cooperate with a police investigation.

The pledge came after a churchgoer, using the social-media username of Lai Siu-mei, publicized the alleged incidents on Facebook on Thursday, claiming Ngai Lap-yin, 45, had sexually harassed her and other female churchgoers for years.

The church in Tsz Wan Shan said it has reached out to the complainants.

"The church has also explained to the complainants that if they want to report to police, the church can accompany them to the police station and will support them anytime," it said.

The church added that it was "deeply saddened" by the incidents and plans to implement measures to ensure such issues do not occur again.

In her Facebook posting, in which she used the hashtags "#MeToo" and "#ChurchToo," Lai slammed Ngai as a "monster."

She claimed Ngai abused his position as a father figure in the church to harass teenage girls.

"His strategy was to build a father-daughter relationship with girls," she wrote.

She claimed Ngai's inappropriate acts included asking girls to "let daddy hug you," "let daddy give you a massage," and "come sit on daddy's lap." He is also said to have asked girls to come to his house.

She also lashed out at the church for not calling in police after receiving their complaints.

Lai's post could no longer be viewed yesterday.

Ngai said he was sacked by the church in May, and he turned himself in on Friday.

Earlier, the Christian Times publication claimed Ngai had owned up to the alleged misdeeds. He also expressed remorse for his inappropriate behavior.

Ngai said he surrendered to police as he didn't want to see any more people get hurt. He added he was ready to stand trial.

The case has been classified as a "request for police investigation" and is being handled by the Wong Tai Sin district crime squad.

On Saturday, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung promised a thorough investigation and contact with the victims.

Outside the church yesterday, members of the congregation mostly refused to comment.

But one woman said: "Maybe he couldn't control it sometimes [We] need to give him a chance and forgive him."

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