A Nigerian pastor in the UK is facing jail after a confession video was filed into court proceedings where he confessed to have raped children and adults in his congregation for over 20 years, with the help of his wife.
Identified as Michael Oluronbi, the Cherubim and Seraphim Church pastor was found guilty of the offenses against six women and a man – five of whom attended his church.
In a confession videoed last year by a victim’s family member Oluronbi claims the devil made him commit his terrible crimes and described himself as ‘an animal’.
Some of his offenses were carried out after he convinced victims to take part in ‘spiritual bathing’, which he claimed would ‘cleanse’ them of evil spirits.
He was convicted on Friday after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, and his offending can now be reported after restrictions were lifted.
During the trial, a jury heard that some of his young female victims became pregnant multiple times but were taken to abortion clinics by qualified pharmacist Oluronbi, to cover up what was happening.
‘Everything was my fault’ admits pastor in video confession.
In a confession videoed last year by a victim’s family member who had confronted him, the ‘feared’ pastor is heard saying: ‘Everything was just my fault, and as I said before, I wasn’t meant to be human.
‘I wasn’t meant to live under the roof of any human being and I said that I was an animal.’
The footage was released by West Midlands Police after the trial.
Despite the recording, Oluronbi denied any wrongdoing during the trial, forcing his victims to give evidence against him during nine weeks of legal proceedings. He was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault.
Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: ‘The Crown’s case is that Mr. Oluronbi used what he called ‘spiritual work’ as a subterfuge for that sexual abuse.
‘The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘holy baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences.
‘That activity began when his victims were children.
‘There can be no doubt that its real purpose was to serve his sexual gratification.’
He said that for some of the female victims the offending ‘progressed to repeated rapes, on many occasions leading to unwanted pregnancies and terminations’.
The 60-year-old’s wife Juliana was convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape after helping arrange some of the terminations.
The religious leader was brought to justice after one of his victims, now an adult came forward.
Michael Oluronbi set up on his own splinter group for about 40 adults and children – separate to the church and located at another address – where he began a practice of ‘spiritual bathing’.
The offences took place in Birmingham and London.