Pastor jailed 30 months for molesting boys

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 October, 2007, 12:00am

Children need protection: judge

A former pastor of a Kowloon church has been jailed for 30 months for molesting three teenage boys over a period of 20 years.

Deputy District Court Judge David Dufton passed the sentence on Amos Fung Chun-yip yesterday, saying the term was required to punish Fung and deter others.

He said Fung - said by his lawyer to have struggled with his sexuality for many years - had committed a breach of trust as assistant pastor at the church when the last two boys were molested at his Sha Tin home.

'This is to protect children, in a real way, from sexual molestation,' the judge said, adding the public looked to the court to protect children from those who gratified themselves by taking advantage of them.

Parents should be able 'feel safe when their young children attend church that they are not subjected to any abuse of this kind', he said.

The court heard Fung had been sexually abused by his neighbour when he was 12 and had since developed his sexual interest in males.

Barrister John Dunn said Fung had sought psychiatric treatment to overcome his sexual orientation.

Judge Dufton ordered Fung to continue therapy in jail.

The church's pastor, who refused to be named, said the sentence marked the end of the saga.

'I think the whole incident has come to an end,' he said when asked whether the case had been a blow to morale in the church.

'What needed to be done has been done. We have strengthened our internal policy for the prevention of similar events. Nevertheless, I feel very sorry and devastated.'

Fung, 41, pleaded guilty on Thursday to five counts of indecent assault, admitting that he had molested three boys, at the time aged 13 to 17, between 1986 and 2005.

Fung started attending the church - the name of which was protected in court - in 1980 when he was 13, but became an assistant pastor only in July 2002 after completing a bachelor's degree in theology. He was in charge of the church's youth activities after getting the job.

The offences were revealed in 2005 when a senior pastor counselled Fung after noticing he appeared to be very depressed. Fung had confessed that 'he had sinned against a church member by touching the member's private parts'.

Fung revealed to the senior pastor the identity of the first victim and resigned a month after his confession.

About a year later, the senior pastor was told by two other teenage boys that they had been molested by Fung in 2005 when they stayed at his place overnight on two occasions.

Fung was then arrested on October 12 at his home in Sha Tin, a day after the police received a complaint.

The court heard police discovered the first victim was 11 when he met Fung in 1984. He was molested three times between 1986 and 1988.

A second and third victim, aged 17 and 16 in 2005, were molested by Fung when they were invited to play video games at his home.