A church pastor has been convicted today (14 January 2020) of multiple (24) counts of child sexual abuse and rapes. Michael Oluronbni, age 60, was the faith leader of a religious group - Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Birmingham - when he committed these 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.
Georgina Hewins, from the CPS, 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.”
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.