Monday, January 31, 2011

Ex-Pastor Facing Rape, Assault Charges

BOSTON -- A former pastor at a Worcester church has been accused of raping and assaulting a 43-year-old woman.

The Rev. Charles Michael Abdelahad, former pastor at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, is accused of attacking the woman on different occasions dating back to 2007, according to the Telegram and Gazette.

Abdelahad is accused of biting the victim, pulling her hair and punching her in the head. Police also allege he hit her with a religious icon and bat and scratched her on the stomach with keys, the newspaper reported.

He will be arraigned Friday on a single charge of rape, four counts of assault and battery and five counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Parishioners said Abdelahad has been a priest for at least 20 years, and he left the parish last month.

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