A self-proclaimed messiah and friend of President Duterte has been accused by a former church member of running a child sex ring.
The accusation emerged during the trial of Kristina Angeles in Hawaii, who is accused of sexually assaulting a female member of her former church.
In response, she alleged in court that when a minor, she was sexually abused by Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church.
The Davao-based megachurch empire claims a global following of six million people, while Quilboloy claims to be “the appointed son of God”.
A report in Hawaii News Now yesterday (Wednesday, October 3) quoted Deputy Public Defender Grant Giventer, who is representing Angeles.
He said: “If this matter goes to trial, I’m confident that once the jury learns of the brutality and rape perpetrated against Ms Angeles and other unwilling minors by Pastor Quiboloy, the complainant and other … witnesses will have their credibility eviscerated.”
However, the church’s attorney Michael Green dismissed the accusations against Quiboloy as a diversion.
As we reported in February, the FBI is investigating Quiboloy after his plane was seized at Honolulu Airport.
A church official, Felina Salinas, was later indicted for trying to smuggle $335,000 out of the US. As well as the cash, rifle parts were also found on the plane.
Salinas was previously arrested by police in 2015 for allegedly assaulting Angeles.
“My belief is that Salinas’ criminal activity relates to … Pastor Quiboloy and his child sex ring, which we view as a very relevant aspect for our upcoming trial,” Giventer wrote.
Angeles claims she ran away from the church three years ago because of the alleged abuse. Her attorney has argued that the sex assault accusation against her is retaliation for leaving the church.
Giventer also said that the unnamed female who accused Angeles made similar accusations against another church member, which prosecutors declined to pursue.
The charges and counter-charges have now led the judge to postpone the criminal case until February. The trial was scheduled to start on October 15.
“This case involves a less than ordinary set of circumstances,” Circuit Judge Rom Trader said.
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