The spiritual adviser to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is facing charges in the U.S., accused of forcing girls and young women to have sex with him, reports Voice of America.
Apollo Carreon Quiboloy and two other church officials are charged with running a sex trafficking operation and threatening girls as young as 12 with eternal damnation and physical harm.
The Washington Post reports for more than 15 years the victims were forced to devote their lives to Quiboloy, including preparing his meals, cleaning his homes, and giving him massages.
Prosecutors out of Los Angeles say Quiboloy put some of the girls on “night duty,” which meant regularly engaging in sex acts with him.
Two other church officials from the church known as the Kingdon of Jesus Christ also face charges. They are Teresita Tolibas Dandan, 59, and Felina Salinas, 50.
A spokesperson for the defendants called the accusations “malicious.”
“We are confident and ready to face whatever is hurled against Pastor Quiboloy and the Kingdom leaders,” the statement read.
Duterte had no immediate comment.
“The developments are just fresh,” presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said Friday. “Let’s allow President Duterte to speak on that.”
He said the Philippines would be willing to cooperate with any extradition requests. Quiboloy founded the church in the Philippines, but in 2018 began traveling to the United States to monitor church activities from there. He has homes in Las Vegas, Hawaii, and California.
Quiboloy allegedly brought workers to the United States using fake visas. The workers stood outside businesses to solicit donations which were used to finance the leader’s fancy lifestyle and to cover operations.
Authorities arrested Salinas in Hawaii on Thursday. The other two suspects are believed to be in the Philippines.
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