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It is the mission of this website to provide factual information and editorial comments on the subject of religion. Comments by the moderator will be clearly distinguished by text color from factual information throughout the site. If you find any facts or comments disturbing or irreverent, that’s good. If you find them thought-provoking, that’s even better. If they cause discussion and debate, that’s ideal.

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Imam arrested for sexually assaulting woman over several years

June 20, 2019

Toronto police have arrested an Imam for sexually assaulting a woman after a lengthy investigation.

Investigators say the woman came forward in early 2019, accusing her Imam of sexual assault.

The woman met the Imam at a Mosque in 2008. Shortly after, he went to her home and convinced her she was possessed and he could help her.

She was brought back to his living quarters where the victim alleges she was sexually assaulted during what the Imam claimed was a religious ceremony.

Over the next several years, it’s alleged she was continually sexually assaulted and he threatened to harm her on numerous occasions. Police also allege he threatened to expose her to the community and congregation.

On Tuesday, Imam Syed Zaidi, 49, was arrested as he tried to board a plane to leave Canada at Pearson Airport.

He’s been charged with breach of trust, three counts of sexual assault, threatening death and criminal harassment.

Anti-Abortion Pastor Arrested After Sexually Abusing Teenage Relative For Years

June 19, 2019

A former Southern Baptist pastor in Houston was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage relative over the course of five years. Stephen Bratton, 44, also previously advocated for the passage of a bill that would criminalize abortion in Texas, which would have made the death penalty a possibility for those who undergo the medical procedure.

On Friday, Bratton, who was a pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church, was arrested and charged with the continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“The victim said they would have sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement provided to Refinery29.

“The complainant stated that Bratton sexually abused her starting from 2013, when she was just 13 years of age. The abuse continued until 2018.” Bratton, a father of seven, has been excommunicated from his church and is currently out on a $50,000 bond.

Tennessee preacher-cop calls for execution of LGBTQ people

June 15, 2019
លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Grayson Fritts

(CNN)Authorities in Tennessee are reviewing all pending cases involving a Knox County Sheriff’s Office detective after he gave a sermon at his church that called for the government to execute members of the LGBTQ community.

We think this guy is a short hop from sucking dicks in public toilets.

“They are worthy of death,” Grayson Fritts said in a June 2 sermon at All Scripture Baptist Church, a small church in Knoxville that he leads.
The church posted the sermon online and then removed it, according to The Washington Post. The video was picked up by the Tennessee Holler, an independent liberal news outlet, and edited into a six-minute clip.
“God has instilled the power of civil government to send the police in 2019 out to the LGBT freaks and arrest them and have a trial for them, and if they are convicted, then they are to be put to death,” he said in the clip.
Fritts said it would be easy to find people to arrest at events such as gay pride parades.
“We have a bunch of them we’re going to get convicted because they have all their pride junk on, and they’re professing what they are, that they’re a filthy animal,” he said.
CNN has not been able to reach Fritts for comment. Speaking to journalists before giving a sermon last Wednesday, Fritts said his anti-LGBTQ beliefs have not interfered with his work as a law enforcement officer.
“It’s totally separate, because if I’m employed by the sheriff’s office, then if they came into the sheriff’s office, obviously they’re allowed there,” he said, according to WATE. “You understand what I’m saying? This. I am over this. I am the head of this church. I say who comes and goes. Those people are not permitted to join, those people are not permitted to attend.”

Imam jailed in UK for sexual abuse and torture of children

June 14, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada

An Imam found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls who he privately tutored has been jailed in United Kingdom.

According to Metropolitan Police, Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada, 76 (19.08.42) of Laughton Road, Northolt was sentenced to a total of eight years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 21 January for child abuse offences.

Pirzada will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sexual Harm Protection Order was issued.

He was found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault of a child, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity after a trial at the same court in September 2017.

During the trial, the court heard how the victims, both sisters, came forward to speak to police in July 2015.

Between 2007 and 2009 the two girls, aged between nine and 11 when the abuse took place, were taught the Quran by Pirzada when he was an Imam appointed by the family.

On 28 July 2016, Pirzada was arrested at his home address and bailed pending further enquiries. He was later charged with all ten counts on 16 March 2018; eight counts of sexual assault with a female under 13, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Detective Sergeant Tony Killeen, from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Team, said: “This is a case which dates back more than ten years, but despite the length of time since the incidents Pirzada has been convicted of his crimes.

“Pirzada exploited the trust placed in him as a religious leader to assault these two young girls.

“The victims have shown great courage, persistence and determination in securing the conviction, having persevered with the allegation and supporting the police investigation.

“The victims have had to live with this trauma and the appalling abuse they endured for the years they were taught by Pirzada, and will have to live with these memories for the rest of their lives.

“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of Pirzada to contact police; specially trained officers will be there to support you.”

The Next Catholic Scandal

June 12, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ sex priest

As the U.S. bishops prepare to meet next week for their general assembly in Baltimore, they must be hoping it won’t be a repeat of this one.

The bishops were hoping to finalize a tough new policy on child sex abuse and – even more importantly – abuse cover-up, after the Vatican put a halt on the issue during the USCCB’s fall assembly last year. Since then, there has been a Vatican abuse summit and new legislation from the Vatican to battle abuse and cover-up, meaning the possibility of a “good news” ending to the meeting was in the cards.

But now new scandals are likely to overshadow the meeting.

At the beginning of this week, the Associated Press published a story about a woman accusing a top official in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston of sexual misconduct. This story was followed by a Washington Post report on a confidential investigation into impropriety under Bishop Michael Bransfield in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. On Thursday, Crux came out with a story about how various Church institutions passed the buck when a seminarian complained about sexual abuse at the national seminary in Washington, DC.

These stories did not involve the abuse of minors, but did involve sexual impropriety with adults. This means the bishops will be trying to find a solution to one systematic crisis, just as another one is exploding in the papers.

Sexual misconduct with adults is a broad area of offense, especially for a celibate clergy. It can include anything from a brief fling with a willing partner to a sexual assault. Current Vatican legislation generally only covers “vulnerable adults” – that is, those without the full use of reason, although Pope Francis’s most recent law – released in May and called Vos estis lux mundi – defines a vulnerable person as “any person in a state of infirmity, physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal liberty which, in fact, even occasionally, limits their ability to understand or to want or otherwise resist the offence.”

The new legislation also covers those who are forced into sexual acts by “violence or threat or through abuse of authority.”

Although these are steps in the right direction, it is murky how it will work in practice.

In Houston, a high-ranking archdiocesan official is accused of having an affair with a married woman he was counseling. In Texas, it is a crime for a clergyman to engage in sexual relations with someone by “exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser.”

The woman also said the priest absolved her for their sexual encounter, which is a Church crime carrying a penalty of excommunication, although this is denied by the archdiocese.

In this case, the priest was moved to another diocese. (The archdiocese insists that it acted properly.)

In West Virginia, a Church investigation found that Bransfield, aside from gross financial mismanagement, had “uncovered a consistent pattern of sexual innuendo, and overt suggestive comments and actions toward those over whom the former bishop exercised authority,” although the investigators said they could not prove sexual abuse had happened.

In the Washington seminary case, a seminarian was allegedly abused by a transitional deacon, not by someone in direct authority.

In all these cases, Church leaders had to make decisions without having any specific Church legislation to work with, although – as in the case of Texas – there are civil and criminal laws that can come into play.

This comes up time and time again – clergymen have been caught with prostitutes, had affairs with parishioners, and committed other violations of their promises of celibacy for generations. Bishops will be quick to point out: Not every sin is a crime, and a lapse in judgement shouldn’t be equated with sexual assault.

But the gray between the two can differ in shade.

If a priest has an affair with a parishioner, what are the consequences? If the parishioner is married? If he is counseling the parishioner?

What happens when a priest gets caught up in a prostitution sting? What if he has been arrested more than once?

The same sorts of questions can be asked about possession of pornography, serial affairs, and other subjects that most of the faithful would hope would only feature in soap operas.

Right now, Church leaders seem to follow the same game plan that was in effect for child abuse: Therapy, clergy moves, and payoffs.

Without procedures and transparency, even relatively small sexual mistakes by priests can be conflated with more serious cases of sexual assault, especially in the eyes of a faithful exhausted by years of scandal.

One thing the bishops don’t want to happen is to institute a “one strike” rule for clerics when it comes to sex with adults.

However, in the #MeToo era, hard decisions will have to be made about what can be forgiven, and what will have to have more permanent consequences.

Can prayers keep hurricanes away from Key West?

June 12, 2019

The Grotto at Basilica of the Star of the Sea in Key West is where locals flock to pray every hurricane season.

Short answer – No.

Long answer – Of course not.

Throughout each hurricane season, locals leave candles and say prayers at The Grotto at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, hoping they can pray away a storm striking the island.

Throughout each hurricane season, locals leave candles and say prayers at The Grotto at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, hoping they can pray away a storm striking the island.

Kay Thomas knows she can’t do much when a hurricane is approaching the Florida Keys.

She can stock up on supplies, evacuate from the island chain, or ride it out like she did during 2017’s Hurricane Irma — which spared her hometown of Key West but severely damaged Keys neighborhoods to the north.

But there is one thing she does at the start of each hurricane season: pray.

“That’s about the best I can do,” Thomas said. “I feel better even though I know that just me alone, I’m not moving mountains.”

Every June 1, locals like Thomas flock to an Old Town church in an effort to pray away storms from directly striking the island.

The candles flicker in an outdoor space at The Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea, 1010 Windsor Lane, called the Grotto.

Thomas, who describes herself as a spiritual seeker rather than religious, offers a prayer every month, from June 1 through the end of November.

“I light one at the beginning and then as they begin to manifest the Grotto gets extra candles,” Thomas said. “It makes me feel like I can do something.”

The Grotto is formally called Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, which dates back to 1922 and honors Sister Louis Gabriel.

Key West lore says the candle prayer ritual works when it comes to staving off hurricanes from the tiny island. A major storm hasn’t struck the island since the Grotto was created.

Hurricane Wilma swamped the island in 2005 and Hurricane Georges came across in 1998. But the island has been spared — so far.

At the time of the Grotto’s installation, Sister Gabriel had lived on the island since 1897 and had survived three major hurricanes, including the 1919 direct hit that left destruction across Key West.

Apparently, Sister Gabriel always said that as long as the Grotto was standing, “Key West would never experience the full brunt of a hurricane.”

After one horrible season in the early 2000s, one local shop put up a sign that read, “Canes 0, Grotto 3,” locals remember.

Still, plenty of Key West residents know from experience that prayers aren’t always enough to keep hurricanes at bay.

Dina DiMartino lost her home and her entire neighborhood to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when she lived in a New Orleans suburb, St. Bernard Parish, where the levee system failed.

“The biggest part was losing where I grew up,” DiMartino said. “I go back and visit, but St. Bernard will never be the same. It’s such a small community like Key West. All the other stuff was just stuff.”

DiMartino, 48, a Louisiana native who taught school for 12 years before Katrina and then ran a security business, learned about the Grotto when she moved to Key West in 2012.

“I go with my three candles and make a donation and pray hard to keep our community protected,” she said. “I’ve done that every June 1. But I have to say, the days before Irma I went there a little bit more.”

The numbers of praying locals grew larger as Irma approached, she remembers.

“I grew up Catholic but have explored other thing,” DiMartino said of her spirituality. “I’m open-minded, not deeply religious. I’m a very superstitious person. I don’t know if that comes with growing up in New Orleans.”

What the fuck does that mean? What’s the difference between being religious and being superstitious?

Megachurch pastor arrested for sex trafficking

June 7, 2019

The state of Georgia ranks as No. 10 in the nation for its large and expanding population of Hispanic immigrants. So the expansion of a Mexican-based megachurch in Flowery Branch, Georgia, was nothing out of the ordinary. But the proposed expansion is being opposed by residents in the surrounding community, and now the opposition is even more entrenched after the church’s founder, Joaquin Garcia, and three other church members were arrested on charges of sex trafficking, child rape and child pornography.

Garcia runs La Luz Del Mundo and, according to the Los Angeles Times, is the largest evangelical church in Mexico. It has branches in 50 countries and boasts more than 1 million members. On Tuesday, June 5, 2019, the California Attorney General’s office filed charges against Garcia and others after a year-long investigation of sex abuse in the church. The investigation was initiated after an online complaint form was received by prosecutors. That complaint alleges that Garcia groomed girls as young as 16 for sex. According to the Los Angles Times, church official Alondra Ocampo allegedly took pictures of naked minors engaging in sex acts for Garcia, who is called the Apostle of Christ.

Church officials have denied these charges and vehemently defended Garcia at a recent press conference held in Mexico City. Silem Garcia, a spokesman for La Luz del Mundo, told reporters that the church and its members “consider these accusations defamatory and calumny against our international director, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. We believe firmly in the innocence of the Apostle of Jesus Christ.”

The allegations have sent shockwaves throughout the evangelical community and put the future of the church in jeopardy. Critics of the church have stated that it preys on poor immigrants and is cult-like in its practices.

Former Michigan priest arrested for sexual assault of a child

June 6, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Timothy M. Crowley

Timothy M. Crowley, a former priest at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, was arrested on May 23 in Tempe, AZ, according to Maricopa County jail records. The next day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Crowley was one of five Michigan Catholic priests her office charged with criminal sexual misconduct.

Crowley, 69, was charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, with a maximum sentence of life in prison, and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He is accused of assaulting a minor boy for about eight years while at St. Thomas from 1987 to 1990.

The charges come after months of investigation into sexual abuse by Michigan clergy inside the Catholic Church. The investigation was started in August 2018 by Nessel’s predecessor, former Attorney General Bill Schuette, following a report exposing widespread sexual abuse in the Pennsylvania Catholic Church.

All charges against Crowley fall within the statute of limitations because he has not been a Michigan resident since 1995. Prosecutors will move ahead with proceedings.

According to Nessel, all five cases began as tips from the Attorney General’s sexual abuse hotline, which she said has received more than 450 tips. The tips were then corroborated by interviews with victims and information found in the hundreds of thousands of documents seized from Michigan’s seven Catholic dioceses last October.

“Although we have charged these men with very serious crimes, I want to remind everyone that they are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law,” Nessel said in her announcement.

In a statement on the Attorney General Office’s website, Nessel emphasized the importance of holding large institutions accountable. Nessel was quoted in the statement saying she estimates her office has worked through only 5 to 10 percent of the documents, meaning the investigation could take more than two years to complete.

“This is about taking on large-scale institutions that turn a blind eye to victims and making certain we hold all of them accountable — that includes unapologetically pursuing any and all individuals who abuse their power by victimizing our residents,” the statement read.

The Attorney General’s Office asks anyone with information relevant to the clergy sexual abuse investigation to call the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374 or email [email protected]

In a statement released by the Diocese of Lansing following the Attorney General’s announcement, Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea expressed support for the charges and investigation.

“I welcome today’s action so that the truth can come out and justice may be served,” Boyea wrote. “Any priest who commits reprehensible acts against children does grave harm to victims. He betrays the priesthood and the entire Church. I pray that Christ brings healing to all involved.”

According to the affidavit filed in the Attorney General’s case against Crowley, the abuse began when the child was approximately 10 years old at St. Mary Parish in Jackson, where Crowley was a chaplain and the victim was an altar boy. From 1982 to 1990, as Crowley moved from St. Mary to St. Anthony in Hillsdale and then to St. Thomas in Ann Arbor, the boy attended these churches at the same time as well.

Crowley is accused of multiple illegal acts with a minor, including forcing oral sex and masturbation, watching pornography and providing alcohol or cigarettes. He allegedly threatened to kill the boy if he told the nun or his parents about the abuse.

New Jersey minister used oral sex in exorcism ritual

June 6, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Rev. Dr. William Weaver

A Presbyterian minister, who said he was following the Bible, used Native American exorcism rituals, gemstones and even oral sex to extract “evil spirits” from men undergoing crises in their lives, the church and men claim.

The so-called healing acts, which date to 1999, were allegedly performed by the Rev. Dr. William Weaver, a prominent Presbyterian minister who served as pastor at Linden Presbyterian Church for 39 years, one of two Presbyterian churches in Linden, a city with a population of over 40,000. He also held several public roles, including chaplain for a county police department.

Weaver, 69, was scheduled to face his three accusers during an internal church trial, but on Jan. 25, 2019, one day before the trial was to begin, he renounced the jurisdiction of the Elizabeth Presbytery. He was accused by the church of “multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct.”

The church charges have no bearing on the secular government’s civil and criminal courts. No public charges have been filed against Weaver. The men said they did report the sexual encounters to authorities, but the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said they could not confirm nor deny information regarding this matter.

With his renouncement, Weaver gave up his ordination and membership in the Presbyterian Church but also avoided a religious trial. He then moved to a gated retirement community in Lakewood.

The trial was scheduled after the men alerted the Elizabeth Presbytery, which oversees 41 Presbyterian churches in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties.

The Presbytery determined, through an investigating committee, “that there are probable grounds or cause to believe that an offense was committed by the accused,” according to the official church charges. If Weaver was found at the religious trial to have violated church rules, the most punishment he would have faced would have been expulsion from the Presbyterian ministry.

“In April 2018, the Presbytery of Elizabeth received allegations of multiple instances of sexual misconduct perpetrated by William Weaver, who was a minister member of the Presbytery. The Presbytery of Elizabeth, a regional body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), takes seriously any allegation of misconduct,” the Rev. Leslie Dobbs-Allsopp, interim leader of the Elizabeth Presbytery, said in a statement.

She said the Presbytery’s response to these allegations was in accordance with its policy on sexual misconduct and the Book of Order, the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

“Mr. Weaver was placed on administrative leave while the Investigating Committee conducted interviews with multiple witnesses,” Dobbs-Allsopp continued. “The allegations were found to be credible, and disciplinary charges were filed, and an ecclesiastical disciplinary hearing date was set.”

Madrassa teacher from Kerala arrested for at least 19 counts of child sex abuse

June 3, 2019

A Madrassa teacher from Kerala who is believed to have sexually abused several children over a period of many years has finally been arrested by the police.

The 63-year-old has been identified as Yusuf, a Madrassa teacher hailing from Aluva who was employed at a local mosque in Kottayam.

For the last two years, Yusuf was teaching at a mosque in Thalayolaparambu where he sexually abused several of his students, police say.

“The Chief Imam of the mosque would not visit the Madrassa for three days a week. This is when Yusuf would pick his victims, take them to a private room and abuse them,” Soofi TM, Sub Inspector of Thalayolaparambu station told TNM. The accused would carefully choose victims of 10-years of age or below, to ensure his crimes were never reported.

“Since children that young are naive and are unlikely to understand what sexual abuse is, he relied on this,” Soofi added.

The accused also earned the confidence of local residents by holding long prayers and speeches to avoid suspicions. He later convinced the mosque authorities to set aside a private room for him, where he would go on to abuse most of his victims.

“He would lure children, especially girls, by promising them sweets and nicknacks and taking them to the room. Here he would abuse them,” Soofi added.

How Yusuf was exposed

Yusuf’s predations came to light 2 weeks ago, when he abused a young boy by promising to teach him the Holy Quran in his private room. The visibly disturbed boy returned home and disclosed the incident to his parents when they questioned him, noticing a difference in his behaviour.

The family immediately complained to the mosque authorities who fired the accused and then filed a complaint with the local police police.

The accused used this opportunity to flee from the place. Instead of returning to his native place of Aluva, he visited mosques and addressed gatherings in Thrissur and Palakkad during the month of Ramzan.

The Thalayolaparambu police finally nabbed him from Kodungallur on May 27th, as he was getting ready to address a mosque gathering.

The exact number of children Yusuf abused remains unconfirmed. The police have got in touch with the Mosque authorities to see if more students would speak up.

Accused was a victim of child sexual abuse

While this is no way excuses what he did, it does go to show that the abuse of children can lead to the victims themselves becoming abusers.

Following his arrest, Yusuf claimed that he too was a victim of child sexual abuse.

Yusuf told the police that his first victim, a girl, was the daughter of a man who had sexually abused him and that he’d committed the crime as an act of revenge.

He told us that he continued to abuse young children after this and did not stop as he was never caught. We believe he may have abused at least 19 children and we are yet to probe the case deeper,” a police officer said.

Former priest wanted on child sex abuse charges in Arizona arrested in Italy

June 3, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Joseph J. Henn

ROME – Italian police arrested former U.S. Salvatorian Father Joseph J. Henn 16 years after Italy’s highest court confirmed his extradition to the United States to face allegations of child sexual abuse in Arizona.

Michele Gentiloni, Henn’s attorney, said his client was taken into custody May 28 after trying to use his expired U.S. passport as identification to pick up some medicine he needed. A spokesman for the Carabinieri, the Italian police force that apprehended Henn, disputed that version of events, claiming instead that the priest had requested assistance at a city-run immigrant assistance center using a false name.

Henn, who was expelled from his order and removed from the priesthood in 2006, currently is in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison awaiting questioning, which must happen by June 3, his attorney told Catholic News Service May 31.

However, Gentiloni said he believes the 2006 extradition order is now null and void because “the police never moved to execute it.”

At the time, officials at the Salvatorian order’s headquarters in Rome, where Henn was assigned when the abuse allegations were made, had said Henn fled.

His lawyer said that was not true, but the Italian police never bothered to check, and they missed their 45-day period for notifying him of the extradition order.

“At the end of August 2006, the Italian Ministry of Justice, believing he was no longer present, issued an arrest warrant” for violating the terms of his house arrest, and it was on the basis of that warrant, not the extradition order, that police took him into custody 16 years later, the lawyer said.

A spokesman for the Carabinieri in Rome told CNS, “before he could be advised officially” that the court upheld the extradition request, “he disappeared and that is why he was declared a fugitive.”

Father Jeff Wocken, U.S. provincial of the Salvatorians, confirmed to CNS that Henn had been removed from the order and the priesthood in 2006, and that he had left the Salvatorian headquarters before the extradition order could be carried out.

Henn had been arrested in Rome in July 2005 after a request by the U.S. Justice Department that he be extradited to face charges in Maricopa County, Arizona.

He was placed under house arrest at the Salvatorian headquarters while his lawyer, Gentiloni, tried to fight the extradition order.

Henn had been accused of molesting at least three boys under the age of 15 between 1979 and 1981 when he was living and working in Phoenix.

In 2003, Arizona’s Maricopa County indicted him on 13 counts related to child molestation.

Gentiloni had told CNS in 2005 that Henn “would accept facing trial in the United States because he is innocent, but he fears for his physical safety” in a U.S. prison given the climate created by the U.S. clerical abuse scandals.

Pastor arrested for rape and sex abuse of teen orphan

June 3, 2019

Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said on Sunday that they have arrested an Abuja-based pastor for the alleged rape and sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old orphan (name withheld), and impregnating her in the process.

NAPTIP disclosed the identity of suspect as David Onyekachukwu, from Nsukka, Enugu State. He is also a full time pastor with the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Church (MFM), Gwarimpa branch, Abuja.

NAPTIP spokesperson Stella Nezan alleged in a statement released in Abuja that the suspect was asked to conduct deliverance on the girl after she was accused of being a witch, but he ended up taking advantage of her vulnerability by sexually molesting, repeatedly.

Nezan said that preliminary investigation revealed that the pastor lost his wife sometimes ago, and was left with a daughter. It also revealed that the suspect and the victim’s late parents share the same neighborhood in Karimo community, a suburb of Abuja.

After the death of the victim’s parents, the suspect volunteered to take her in and assist in her education.

During interrogation, the abusive pastor confessed to having sex with the girl only twice, attributing his actions to the devil.

He stated that he took the girl in, conducted “deliverance” for her and also enrolled her in school, having missed school for about two years.

“But after the deliverance, she couldn’t find a to stay; I then took her to live with me and my daughter,” the clergyman confessed.

The victim, in her statement, confirmed that the clergyman started making advances to her after her first year of living in their house, but she constantly resisted it.

She said the first time she was raped was in March during her birthday. She said the pastor took her and his daughter out to some relaxation spots in Abuja.

“In the evening of that day, after the pastor’s daughter had gone to bed, he approached me with the love advances and pounced on me, ignoring all my pleas for mercy,” the victim explained.

It was gathered during investigation that the clergyman had thereafter the first encounter continued his actions at will, resulting in the girl getting pregnant.

NAPTIP Director General Julie Okah-Donli described the action of the man as the “highest form of wickedness against a fellow human being,” considering the fact that the victim is a vulnerable and helpless orphan.

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