HK pastor denies sexual harassment

22-Feb-2019 Intellasia | UCA News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Complaint by female staff member results in his removal as Methodist school supervisor

A prominent Methodist pastor in Hong Kong has been removed as the supervisor of three schools operated by the church after an internal investigation found that in December he sexually harassed a female staff member.

The complainant said she had agreed to a request to meet Rev. Lo Lung-kwong at a church school building in the busy commercial hub of Wanchai.

The pastor had said he wanted to give her what was described in internal investigation documentation as a souvenir.

However, he allegedly engaged in behaviour that constituted harassment by holding the woman’s hands, touching her face, sweeping his hands over her back and hugging.

Rev. Lo said he accepted that his behaviour was inappropriate but denied he was guilty of harassment, according to a February 17 report in Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper based on the church documents.

Rev. Lo is the supervisor of secondary and primary schools run by the church, adjunct professor at the Chinese University’s Divinity School of Chung Chi College, director of the Methodist Centre for Quality Life Education, and general secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council.

The church, concerned about damage to its reputation, was reported to have advised the staff member to file an internal complaint rather than pursuing the matter with police.

The Methodist Church set up a five-person investigation team to meet with the victim, the principal of the school and Rev. Lo as well as to look at video of the incident captured on closed-circuit television.

The documents obtained by Ming Pao quoted Rev. Lo as saying to the investigation panel: “It all happened in the public area and I knew there was CCTV. We are just close; she is like a daughter to me.”

It was for this reason he held her hands and hugged her, he said.

The document said the complainant had subsequently felt aggrieved and depressed.

In January, the investigation panel unanimously ruled that the allegation of sexual harassment was established and removed him as the supervisor at three schools operated by the church.

There is a requirement to inform the Hong Kong Education Bureau if sexual harassment involves misconduct or serious immorality affecting staff and for more serious cases to be referred to police.

Neither course of action was deemed necessary in this case.

The outcome of the investigation was intended to have been kept confidential, but the internal documents were leaked to Ming Pao.


Category: Hong Kong

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