Bronx Pastor Michael Clare Accused Of Raping Teenager...Again
For the second time in just over a year, Bronx pastor Michael Clare has been hit with charges that he had sex with an underage girl, this time for allegedly raping a 14-year-old who was a student at Harvest Preparatory Academy, where Clare had been the principal (breath easy -- the school told us this afternoon that Clare is "no longer an employee").
In what could be perceived as a big "screw you" to the justice system, it's alleged that some of the abuse of the latest victim happened while Clare was free on bail in his previous case -- again, where he's accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Bronx District Attorney spokesman Melvin Hernandez tells the Voice that Clare, 40, was arrested this morning after a court hearing related to the previous charges. He was arraigned on the new charges -- one count each of second-degree rape, sexual misconduct, third-degree criminal sexual act, endangering the welfare of a child, and three counts of sexual abuse -- this afternoon before State Supreme Court Justice Megan Tallmer.
In Clare's previous case, he allegedly impregnated a teenage member of his congregation whom he'd been sexually abusing since she was just 12 years old. He was offered a plea deal that would have landed him in the slammer for a mere two years -- a plea deal he rejected last March.
The victim's baby was aborted, and investigators have reportedly matched the DNA from the fetus to Clare, although we were unable to independently confirm those reports.
According to the new indictment, Clare sexually assaulted the girl on at least three occasions between June 22, 2009 and June 30, 2011. Prosecutors say the assaults took place at the school, located at 4036 White Plains Road, and at Clare's homes, one at 325 Quincy Avenue, and another at 94 Gainsborg Avenue in West Harrison.
When the abuse started, the girl was just 14. It continued until she was 16.
Tallmer set Clare's bail amount in the new case at $350,000. The judge also increased the bail amount in his past case to $700,000.
If convicted of rape, Clare faces up to 25 years in prison for each count.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.