‘I was an animal’: Self-styled prophet claims devil made him rape children and force them to have abortions

Michael Oluronbi set up a ‘cult-like’ group and used rituals as cover for sexual abuse, prosecutors say

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 14 January 2020 21:16
Rapist pastor Michael Oluronbi filmed confessing to crime

A “feared” and controlling pastor who raped multiple members of his congregation and forced his child victims to have abortions was caught in an on-camera confession by one of their relatives.

Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi admitted that “everything was my fault” in a video recorded by a victim’s family member who confronted him last year.

“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 60-year-old is heard to tell his accuser. Oluronbi also claims the devil made him carry out the attacks.

On Friday the serial abuser was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Oluronbi’s wife Juliana, 58, of Walker Road, Walsall, was convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape after helping to arrange a number of abortions for victims.

Their crimes can be reported fully after a judge lifted legal restrictions, while the confession footage was released by West Midlands Police after the trial.

However, despite the videotaped admission of guilt, Oluronbi denied any wrongdoing during his trial and forced his victims — some of whom had become pregnant by him more than once — to give evidence against him during nine weeks of hearings. He even laughed in the witness box while giving his own evidence, according to police.

Prosecutors said Oluronbi, of Orchard Drive, Longbridge, Birmingham, was “revered and feared” by his victims and seen “almost like a king”. He used what he called “spiritual work” as a ruse to commit sexual abuse, Phil Bradley QC told jurors.

He added: “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.”

The cult-leader-like figure “kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood”, Mr Bradley said.

Police said Oluronbi’s crimes against six girls and a boy were committed over a period of 20 years, dating back to the 1980s. As a qualified pharmacist the serial rapist had access to abortifacient medicines, which he gave his victims, police said, while on other occasions he made appointments for them at abortion clinics.

“One of the girls had five or six abortions,” said Detective Superintendent Nick Walton, of West Midlands Police.

The so-called spiritual bathing took place after Oluronbi set up a splinter group of a Christian church in Edgbaston, Birmingham — the Cherubim and Seraphim Church — whose roots were in Nigeria. ”Some of his victims described it as a cult,” added Mr Walton.

About 40 adults and children were involved in the new group and the abuse took place in both Birmingham and London.

The OIuronbis are due to be sentenced at a later date.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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