Prayer Palace pastor Paul Melnichuk facing sex assault charges - 2015-01-08
The flamboyant and controversial senior pastor of the Prayer Palace has been charged with sexual assault involving a mother and daughter who are parishioners at the mammoth evangelical church in northwest Toronto. Paul Melnichuk, 80, known to parishioners as "Pastor Paul," surrendered to police Thursday morning, after being notified of a warrant for his arrest.
Police say the complainants are a woman in her 40s and a woman who is younger than 20. Both were members of the church, founded by Melnichuk and his wife more than 30 years ago. The pastor is charged with five counts of sexual assault. During a brief appearance at the Finch Ave. courthouse Thursday afternoon, the lightly tanned pastor — once described as a movie star and the "religious Mel Lastman or Ed Mirvish" — wore a black leather jacket and white collared shirt.