A Cherubim and Seraphim Nigerian pastor based in the UK, Michael Oluronbi, who sexually abused children and adults for over 20 years, has been convicted of raping members of his congregation.
60-year-old Oluronbi, was leader of the religious group when he committed the vile crimes. His wife,Juliana Oluronbi, age 58, was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape.
Five of the seven victims are siblings who were abused at their home address where the church conducted services. All victims were abused from a young age under the guise of it being religious practice. They fell under the malign influence and authority the defendants held, and honestly believed their actions were on God’s behalf.
The prosecution case was that Mr Oluronbi used what he called ‘spiritual work’ as subterfuge for 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. The CPS used CCTV, mobile phone material, photographs, forensic evidence, and witness statements to build the prosecution case.
Juliana Oluronbi was unwavering in her support for her husband and the case against her is based on the lengths to which she was prepared to go to support him and keep him in his position. We proved she not only knew what Michael Oluronbi was doing but that her actions (particularly in arranging abortions) effectively aided and abetted the continued, systematic rapes of three victims.
Georgina Hewins, from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This case involved the serious and sustained sexual abuse of vulnerable young children by a religious leader. The young age of the victims greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.
“As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, and the strength of the evidence, the two defendants were found guilty after trial.
“It is only due to the great courage of the victims that this abuse was brought to light, and the full extent of the despicable and lawless behaviour of these people revealed.”