Homestead minister sent to prison for raping parishioner

Jean-Claude Philippe received the maximum sentence for the crime. Photo from the Miami Herald.

MIAMI — Jean-Claude Philippe, a 66-year-old priest in Homestead, Fla., was sentenced Jan. 21 to 15 years in prison for raping a parishioner, according to Info24heures.

Philippe, of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, was found guilty in 2018 of sexually assaulting the parishioner at his home.

According to the victim, Philippe gave her a tea-like drink when she visited his home. She then passed out and later woke up naked in his bedroom.

The woman, whose identity will not be revealed because she is a victim of sexual assault, said she considers Philippe a member of her family. They had vacationed together and she had named him godfather to her two children.

Deputy Prosecutor Khalil Quinan elaborated on the crime in his sentencing memorandum, saying, “The defendant’s criminal acts … have caused irreparable harm [the victim] personally that she will have to endure for the rest of her life.”

He was first arrested in October 2021. Philippe maintained his innocence throughout the October trial and said his police confession was false.

The penalty is the maximum penalty for the offence.

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