According to Bukit Aman CID director Abd Jalil Hassan, Ebit allegedly sent lewd texts and photos to a woman and police have collected solid evidence against the celebrity preacher.
Celebrity preacher Ebit Irawan Ibrahim Lew, who is more popularly known as Ustaz Ebit Lew, has been slapped with 11 charges of sexual harassment at an interior court in Sabah yesterday, 18 February.
Charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code, Ebit pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
If convicted, the 37-year-old preacher faces up to five years in jail or a fine, or both.
Magistrate Nur Asyraf Zolhani at the Circuit Court in the Tenom district office allowed Ebit to be released after he posted bail of RM11,000 — RM1,000 per charge and two sureties. She has fixed 20 to 23 April for the trial.
Ebit, however, claims that people are trying to tarnish his image and credibility as a charity worker and that the charges are a test from God.
According to Ebit, these are baseless accusations with an ulterior motive to ruin his credibility.
“I believe someone or a group of people had planned for this, I will get through it and I see this as a test from God,” the preacher cum philanthropist as saying after he was charged.
He also claims that he was taken aback by the court case as he was in Sabah for charity work.
“I was shocked to learn about them while I was carrying out charity work in Sabah. I wasn’t here for the court case. But I am not worried because I know I am not guilty. I believe this is a test from Allah,” he said, adding that this will not stop him from carrying out community work.
Meanwhile, Bukit Aman CID director Abd Jalil Hassan said Ebit allegedly sent lewd texts and photos through WhatsApp to a woman.
In a press conference at the Tenom police headquarters yesterday, Abd Jalil said that investigations showed that Ebit had sent these lewd messages and pictures to a Malay woman in Tenom.
“The offences took place between March and July last year,” he told reporters, adding that the police are also probing other sexual harassment claims by the same woman.
In total three reports have been lodged against Ebit under Section 509 of the Penal Code for outraging of modesty, Section 14 of Minor Offences Act, and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act.
He said the reports were lodged by two women – one in Tenom and another in Peninsular Malaysia. The victims who lodged the reports are between 21 and 40 years old.
“We have investigated all angles regarding this case, including the possibility of slander. However, we have collected solid evidence which culminated with the prosecution today, 18 February,” he said.