Scots pastor accused of raping 10-year-old girl faces trial in US

The Scotsman, UK/December 28, 2012

A Scots pastor accused of raping a 10-year-old girl in the United States is to face trial next month.

Malcolm John Fraser - born in Aberdeen and brought up in Elgin - allegedly told his victim she would "go to hell" if she told anyone, according to papers lodged by prosecutors in Washington State.

Fraser, 39, the assistant pastor at Sound Doctrine Church in the city of Enumclaw, faces two counts of first-degree rape of a child. The case was due to be heard earlier this month, but has been postponed to 16 January, with a preliminary hearing on 4 January. The newest delay stems from a request by Fraser's legal counsel.

According to Ian Goodhewof, spokesman for the King County prosecutor's office, Fraser's attorney filed a motion "to have the computers of the Enumclaw police department forensically examined for e-mails potentially relevant to the case".

Superior court judge Beth Andrus ruled that the request be acted upon by 4 January and set the new trial date.

Fraser was arrested by Enumclaw police on 20 March this year. According to police papers, he is alleged to have had repeated sexual contacts with a girl during 2005 and 2006.

A "probable cause" statement issued by the Enumclaw police department said the issue was first brought to their attention on 12 March, when they received a report from Child Protective Services (CPS).

According to the police document, CPS said a youngster "had been molested by the assistant pastor of a local church during the timeframe of 2005 to 2006".

The victim alleges Fraser visited her room more than 20 times, after midnight, and touched her in an inappropriate manner. The prosecution papers which include her statement, claim Fraser "would cover her mouth so she would keep quiet and not yell".

The victim, identified as MC, said she attempted to fight, but Fraser would threaten to hurt her or her mother. The victim is alleged to have said Fraser informed her she would "go to hell" if she told anyone what was occurring.

The statement says: "MC remembered Fraser telling her that, if she told anyone, she would go to hell."

Fraser denies the charges.

The former IT worker moved to the US in 2000 and has been a citizen since 2010.

He lived in Moray and Aberdeen, where he studied English for five years. He also attended Elgin Baptist and New Elgin Church of God.

His legal team are fighting the case, calling for it to be abandoned and claiming it is flawed.

They allege the detective at the centre of the inquiry has withheld evidence and that has prejudiced Fraser's right to a fair trial.

The lawyers claim there are e-mails between the policemen and a third party which prove the officer criticised the church's, and Fraser's, religious views.

They claim further evidence outlining the officer's prejudice against the church at which Fraser was a pastor was being withheld.

Fraser's boss, Pastor Timothy Williams, also claimed there was a vendetta against the church.

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