A UITENHAGE pastor accused of raping a 10- year-old boy four years ago was acquitted in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday.
Henry van Rooyen, 55, had pleaded not guilty.
The state had alleged he had raped the child on more than one occasion in August 2009.
It was the state's case that the boy, who went to the same church as Van Rooyen, was raped after he had attended a church service.
It was alleged Van Rooyen had left with the boy from the church in his bakkie.
He allegedly took him to a bedroom of a house, where he ordered him to take off his trousers and underpants, after which he raped him.
Another incident allegedly happened when the boy had gone with Van Rooyen to throw rubbish in bushes. The boy alleged Van Rooyen ordered him to take off his trousers and underpants, told him to sit on top of him and had sex with him.
Handing down his verdict, Judge Phakamisa Tshiki said the boy had failed to report the first incident of rape to the police.
He said he had taken into account both the boy's and Van Rooyen's evidence in reaching his decision. He said in his defence, Van Rooyen had told the court he was diabetic and was suffering from impotence as a result. His wife and doctor both testified to that effect.
Judge Tshiki said the state had not succeeded in establishing the case against Van Rooyen.
"I will have to give the accused the benefit of the doubt."
Van Rooyen broke down and prayed soon after Judge Tshiki acquitted him.