Teenager tells court she made up church leader massage claims

SCOTLAND – A teenager has told a Scottish court that claims a church leader induced her to massage his partially-naked body were lies.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told her aunt and the police that the churchman, Walter Masocha, had a room off his bedroom in his country home equipped with a massage table.

She originally claimed she rubbed his arms and legs with oil while he lay in the dark with a towel over his lower body.

The girl, who is now 15, retracted her claims at the start of the fourth day of the trial of Masocha, 51, founder of the Stirling-based Agape For All Nations Church.
Archbishop Dr Walter Masocha
She told the jury she made up the claims after she saw a blog written by an earlier witness in the case, whom Masocha is accused of sexually assaulting, and after her aunt spoke to her about the case.

Giving evidence from behind a screen at Falkirk Sheriff Court, the girl, who attends a school in England, said she had been to Masocha’s home, Cosyneuk House, near Stirling, several times.

But she said she had never, as alleged, given him a massage.

She said: “I know it may seem really bad, but I didn’t give a massage, ever. I felt I had to lie and I just kept on with the lie because I didn’t want to look bad.”

She said that at the time she made the allegations she had stopped being a member of the church after her father said it would be best for them not to go, but she was now a member once again.

Prosecutor Alison Montgomery asked her: “Has somebody told you to change what you’ve said to your aunt and the police?”

The girl replied: “No.”

Closing her case, Ms Montgomery said the Crown were no longer seeking convictions on two charges against Masocha which alleged that he engaged in sexual activity, namely the massages, with the girl.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan told jurors: “You can put a pencil through them.”
Archbishop Dr Walter Masocha seen hugging Jean Gasho in happier moments
Masocha still faces two charges, one of sexually assaulting a 32-year-old mother-of-four who had worked on the Agape church magazine, and of engaging in sexual activity over a 12-month period with another girl, aged between 14 and 15.

The older woman told the court earlier that Masocha had kissed her passionately, touched her chest and groped her, while the girl alleged he had “pinged” her underwear, put his hand down the back of her trousers and touched her bottom.

She said that when challenged, Masocha claimed to be looking for “demons”.

Masocha, a father-of-four, known to church members as Archbishop, The Prophet, The Apostle, The High Commissioner, and “Daddy”, continues to deny the remaining charges.

His lawyer, John Scullion QC, asked him: “Did any of these episodes ever occur?”

Masocha replied: “Never”.

He said that the woman who had accused him had frequently visited his house and said she had “many issues”.

He said: “She is an ambitious, some of the time spiteful, person, full of drama.”

He claimed she had “flipped” when he had said he was going to delay publication of an edition of the magazine she had been working on, because she was at odds with other members of the church.

He said: “When I said no [to publication] she lashed out, she said lots of things, every swear word you can think of. She called me later to try to get me to change my mind.

“When she realised I was serious, she flipped again. She said ‘you don’t know me, I am going to fix you and the church’.”

He added that since the allegations had surfaced he had stepped back from the church and was on anti-depressants.

Speaking about the allegations made by the schoolgirl who claimed he had put his hand down her trousers, Masocha said: “It’s not something I’d ever do. I know how wrong and sordid it is.” STV News

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