Church minister jailed for raping daughter

Wed 28 Sep 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A church minister has been jailed after assaulting his own daughter twice. 

Woolwich Crown Court was told Mark Anderson, 54, abused his status as a minister to hide the abuse.

22-year-old Rebekah Anderson has waived her right to anonymity to try to encourage other survivors of sexual violence to come forward.

Mr Anderson has been jailed for 19 years after being convicted of two charges of rape at Woolwich Crown Court.

He has been convicted of one assault by penetration and one assault occasioning actual bodily harm when she was aged 12 and 14 respectively.

Rebekah told The Times newspaper: "I couldn't take it anymore, it was too much of a build-up, it was holding me back and I couldn't take it."

Mr Anderson abused his daughter Rebekah between 2003 and 2009.

She said: "He would use his position to hide what he's done. [He would say] 'I couldn't have possibly done that, I'm so high up in the church.

"He was hidden by the fact he believes he is a Christian. But that's not Christian."

She said the attacks have "affected my faith, a lot".

"I still go to church but not as often as I used to go because it is still there, the fact that he was supposed to be, not just to me, but to others, representing them and he abused their trust as well because of his position."

Sentencing Judge Christopher Hehir said: "What you did involved the most horrendous abuse of trust.

"You preyed upon your own daughter for your own sexual gratification."

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