Pastor jailed for fondling boy

Matthew Holehouse
Thursday 31 March 2011 17:05 BST

An evangelical pastor who fondled a teenage boy while he slept and touched a young preacher while sharing a hotel bed has been jailed for eight months.

Dr Albert Odulele, 47, admitted indecently assaulting the boy and sexually assaulting the man during a hearing at Bexley Magistrates' Court on March 3.

Today at Woolwich Crown Court, in London, he was jailed for eight months and six months respectively, to run concurrently, and put on the sex offenders' register for five years.

The court heard how Odulele, founder of the Glory House International Pentecostal church, would frequently share hotel beds while travelling the world with a large entourage of security and pastors.

In around 2003, he was watching television with a boy over whom he had "assumed paternal influence".

When the boy fell asleep he put his hand in his underwear and fondled him. The boy said he did not know what to do and was too scared to move.

Odulele's wife was pregnant with their daughter at the time.

The boy was left "traumatised" and lost interest in academic work, before telling his mother about the abuse.

When confronted by the boy's mother in spring last year, Odulele fell to his knees, crying and apologising, prosecutor Tom Nicholson told the court.

In 2004, he touched the inner thigh of a pastor while sharing a bed with him and another man at the Dartford Bridge Hilton.

The man brushed off the advances of Odulele, the "guiding light and father figure" of the church, before being touched again, the court heard.

Mr Nicholson said a number of church members challenged Odulele about his behaviour and appealed to a bishop of the church - without success.

Sentencing him, His Honour Judge Charles Byers described the attacks as "opportunistic".

Judge Byers said: "You were a man in a position of trust who was well respected. People turned to you for advice and no doubt for comfort."

He added that Odulele was an "intelligent man" who would have known his behaviour "was wrong".

In a pre-sentencing report Odulele, a trained medical doctor, said: "I am ashamed of my behaviour as homosexuality is at odds with my religious beliefs."

"I am extremely distraught and upset at the hurt and distress I have caused the victims."

Craig Crosbie, defending, said Odulele, the son of a Nigerian civil servant who came to Britain in 1986, has no previous convictions.

Glory House International, based in east London, claims to have a congregation of 3,000 and branches in Leeds, Birmingham and Brazil.

At his height Odulele would preach to 140,000 people at a time in stadia in Africa and the United States, the prosecution said.

Odulele was a major figure in Christian evangelism.

Odulele initially denied the crimes but later admitted to police he had been "battling" with his sexuality for years.

Glory House International is a registered charity with a turnover of £2 million a year.

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