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Priest accused of sexual abuse gets bail

The priest was arrested on Friday after being accused of inappropriate conduct towards a child.

A Pretoria priest was arrested on 14 February for alleged inappropriate conduct towards a child. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Leaders of various catholic churches in Pretoria say their members have been left completely shaken following allegations of sexual abuse against a local priest.

The priest was granted bail by the Pretoria Magistrates Court yesterday.

He was arrested on Friday after a family claimed that his conduct towards one of their children was inappropriate.

He has since been barred from preaching as the police investigation commences.

Father Chris Townsend says he is offering support to those who are struggling to come to terms with the claims.

"The reaction has been very sad. A lot of people are very angry, shaken and upset. Some are saying it's impossible while others are saying they don't know what to do going forward."

Meanwhile, Gauteng police arrested a 53-year-old pastor earlier this month for being in possession of child pornography.

He was allegedly in possession of naked images of young girls on his cellphone.

The man has already appeared in court and will appear again on 5 March.

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