US prosecutors have filed sex trafficking charges against Filipino pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who claims to be “The Appointed Son of God” as well as “The Owner of the Universe.”
A report on CNN Philippines said the megachurch leader and friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been charged for coercing girls and young women to have sex with him under threats of “eternal damnation.”
The US Department of Justice announced Quiboloy’s indictment on Thursday, November 18.
Also reported charged were two administrators of Quiboloy’s “Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name.”
Prosecutors charged Quiboloy and his two staff members with participating in a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
A 74-page indictment charge said three of the five female victims were minors when the alleged sex trafficking began.
The indictment stated that the victims prepared Quiboloy’s meals, cleaned his residences, gave him massages, and were required to have sex with the pastor as part of “night duty.”
The victims were ordered to have sex with Quiboloy on a schedule determined by the pastor and the church administrators.
“Defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators told pastorals that performing ‘night duty’ was ‘God’s will’ and a privilege, as well as a necessary demonstration of the pastoral’s commitment to give her body to defendant Quiboloy as ‘The Appointed Son of God’,” the indictment read.
“Pastorals” are female recruits with ages between 12 and 25 who work as personal assistants of Quiboloy.
The US Justice department said cash raised for a bogus California-based charity was used to recruit victims who would be brought to the United States from the Philippines.
Some would be put to work raising more cash in order to help fund a lavish lifestyle for the 71-year-old pastor.
The indictment alleges the sex trafficking scheme ran for at least 16 years to 2018.
Victims who complied were rewarded with “good food, luxurious hotel rooms, trips to tourist spots, and yearly cash payments that were based on performance,” paid for with money solicited by church workers in the United States, according to the indictment.
The indictment builds on a previous indictment to include a total of nine defendants. Three were arrested in the US on Thursday.
Quiboloy, who maintained large residences in Hawaii, Las Vegas, and a swanky suburb of Los Angeles, is thought to be in Davao City along with two others named in the charge.
Quiboloy’s group, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, claims that it has at least four million followers in the Philippines and another two million overseas. – with a report from Agence France Presse