Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the church Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC), was indicted by United States prosecutors and a federal grand jury on sex trafficking charges, in which girls and young women were allegedly forced to engage in sex with Quiboloy.
The 74-page indictment includes several church officials and two US-based church administrators with whom the KOJC founder is believed to be running the operation. Victims, some of whom were as young as 12 years old, were threatened with “eternal damnation” and physical abuse.
Los Angeles-based federal prosecutors based this indictment on allegations made last year against three church administrators based in the same city.
Nine defendants were accused of being party to a ploy whereby church members traveled to the US with fraudulently acquired visas, and were forced to solicit donations for a fictional children’s charity. Instead, the money supported church leaders’ extravagant lifestyles.
Quiboloy and five new defendants were added to an existing indictment filed last year. US authorities picked up three of the new defendants last week but the remaining three as well as the pastor were thought to be in the Philippines.
The indictment also alleged that Quiboloy and two other defendants got girls and women aged 12 to 25 in the guise of serving as personal assistants or “pastorals.” They were instructed to fix Quiboloy’s meals, clean his living quarters, massage him and have sex with him, which they called “night duty.”
The US Department of Justice said that three of five female victims were minors when the operation first started.
“We are confident and ready to face whatever is hurled against Pastor Quiboloy and the Kingdom leaders,” the founder’s legal team said in a statement. “We trust the process of justice and we certainly expect the truth to prevail, and the Kingdom ministry will continue to prosper.”
Quiboloy is a close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, who appeared several times on the church founder’s TV show. The President’s spokesperson Karlo Nograles gave no comment on the pair’s relationship.
Photo: Manila Bulletin