Pastor Neil Rischbieter, former from Johannesburg in Gauteng, has been found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls in New Zealand.
Rischbieter had committed the offences while one of the girls’ mother was dying of cancer.
Stuff.co.nz reports a court in Waitakere City, Auckland, found Rischbieter guilty on Wednesday and sentenced him to 26 months in jail.
Detective Jason Hamblyn of the New Zealand police says the pastor’s victims were between 12 and 19 years old and the abuse was perpetrated between 2009 and 2017.
“She [one of the victims] was so vulnerable and her mother had died. He knew that she couldn’t possibly tell anyone, no one would believe her,” a stepmother of one of the girls told Stuff.co.nz.
She added that the community had trusted and respected Rischbieter. “He came across as this person who helped the elderly, helped people who were struggling. It’s sickening that he got away with it,” she said.
The stepmom says the family is shattered and the now 17-year-old girl’s life has been destroyed.
According to IOL Rischbieter and his family were the victims of a violent attack in South Africa in 2007. They immigrated to New Zealand shortly after, where he worked as a pastor and businessman.
Sources: IOL, Stuff.co.nz