MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A priest from Nigeria who was serving in Manchester was charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a woman and holding her against her will, police said.
The Rev. John Lawani, 40, was charged with two counts of sexual assault, five counts of simple assault, and two counts of false imprisonment. He was being held on $50,000 bail and was to be arraigned today.
The woman, 27, came to police recently ``and reported to us that a number of these assaults had taken place since October of 2005," Sergeant Lloyd Doughty said.
In a statement, the Diocese of Manchester said that Lawani is a priest of the Diocese of Ilorin, Nigeria, who was serving as the chaplain of the African Apostolate for the Diocese of Manchester since October.
Bishop John McCormack placed Lawani on leave ``pending the resolution of this matter" and notified the bishop of Ilorin, according to the statement.