28 Aug 2008

Samoa church dismisses minister charged with sex crime

8:03 pm on 28 August 2008

The Church of Christ in Samoa has dismissed one of its ministers who has been charged with attempting to rape a young woman who is a church member.

A reliable source within the church says Joe Hansel was dismissed, reportedly after a similar incident in the church before the police charged him this week with a second alleged sex offence.

The assistant police commissioner and spokesman, Papalii Li'o, says the police acted after receiving a letter from the Samoa Victim Support Group asking for the alleged offence to be investigated.

The 59-year-old accused is set to appear in the Supreme Court on Monday.