Today’s news:

Rape trial of Bayside pastor on in March

The trial for the Bayside pastor who faces charges of raping an underage girl who is related to him is expected to start in March, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney said.

Pre-trial hearings wrapped up this month for Phillip Joubert, 48, pastor of the Community Baptist Church at 46-19 206th St. in Bayside. Joubert’s next court date is March 4, the DA’s office said.

Joubert, who has been pastor of the church for seven years, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl twice between July 25, 2009, and Aug. 2, 2009, according to the Queens DA. The girl is related to Joubert, according to the criminal complaint, although the Queens DA has not specified the specific family connection.

The church leader, who is also the founding pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Norwalk, Conn., faces charges of rape, incest, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, the Queens DA said.

Joubert’s attorney did not return a phone call for comment.

In 2009, Joubert allegedly “laid down on top” of the victim, “held her hands above her head as she cried and struggled to get out from underneath him” and then “hit her in the face, telling her to ‘be quiet,’” according to the criminal complaint.

The pastor used his church as collateral to post his $350,000 bail in December 2009, according to the Queens DA.

Joubert will also face a jury trial expected to begin March 1 at Norwalk Superior Court on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a spokeswoman at the Norwalk Superior Court.

The alleged rape in Queens came to light after a Nov. 14, 2009, incident at Joubert’s former residence in Norwalk, Conn., when the pastor allegedly punched a 13-year-old girl in the face and several times in the torso because the girl left her school notebooks stacked against the side of his couch, according to his Connecticut arrest warrant affidavit.

Following the assault, the victim told her mother about the alleged rape that had occurred at Joubert’s Queens home, according to Norwalk police. The teen’s mother called Norwalk police, who informed the NYPD about the allegations, police said.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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