A "RESPECTED and trusted" Jehovah's Witness church elder from Barry has been found guilty of rape and eight charges of indecent assault by a jury after a three week trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for more than 10 hours to find Mark Sewell, 53, of Porthkerry Road, Barry, unanimously guilty of five charges and not guilty of one charge of indecent assault.
They then took a further two hours to reach a 10 to two majority verdict of guilty to a single charge of rape and a charge of indecent assault and an 11 to one majority verdict of guilty to another charge of indecent assault.
The three week trial had heard how Sewell, described as a "predator" and a "bully", indecently assaulted girls under the age of 16 and 14 and raped a fellow church member during a 10 year campaign of sexual abuse throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.
In the late 1980s Sewell abused one young girl from the ages of 12 to 14, kissing her on the mouth using his tongue, touching her inappropriately and would often manoeuvre himself into situations where he would rub her on top of him in a sexual manner, sometimes while wearing just his underwear.
Sewell also raped a female friend and fellow church goer at his home following a campaign of inappropriate and suggestive sexual behaviour towards her. Following the attack the woman became pregnant, but miscarried a short time later.
Sewell was also found guilty of indecent assault by way of giving topless massages to a teenage girl and to indecently assaulting another woman, who in one incident was locked in his car and propositioned for sex when Sewell drove her onto wasteland against her will.
The indecent assaults on the teenage girl and the rape were both investigated at the time by a Jehovah's Witness committee and Sewell was subsequently "disfellowshipped" from the Barry congregation only to become a member of a congregation in Llantwit Major a few years later.

Sewell will be sentenced on Wednesday, July 2 and was told by Judge Richard Twomlow that he is facing a "very substantial prison sentence."