Bronx Pastor and Principal Charged With Raping Teen: D.A.

DNA evidence escalates charge to 1st degree rape

By Sara Dover
|  Friday, Jan 28, 2011  |  Updated 8:15 PM EDT
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Bronx Pastor and Principal Charged With Raping Teen: D.A.

A Hartford police officer under investigation for the beating of a suspect took his first steps toward retiring.

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A Bronx minister and principal of a church-affiliated school faces escalated charges of raping a teen in light of new DNA evidence, according to the Bronx District Attorney.

Reverend Michael Clare, a pastor at Harvest Worship Center and principal at Harvest Preparatory Academy was indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape in the first degree on Friday after DNA evidence linked him to the victim, who became pregnant at 15.

Clare was arrested last June when a young girl told family and police that this man had molested her from age 12 to 15. He was initially charged with rape in the 2nd degree under other offenses and was released on a bail $20,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

But that charge was elevated to the first degree in an indictment Friday. Acting State Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzales also raised his bail to $50,000 cash or $25,000 bond, the D.A. office said.

If found guilty of charges of rape in the 1st and 2nd degrees, as well as in criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of child, Clare could  be put behind bars  for 25 years.

A defense attorney was not immediately reached for comment.

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