A Birmingham man has been found guilty of historical sex offences committed while he was a pastor in Edgbaston.
Michael Oluronbi, a self-proclaimed pastor and pharmacist, was convicted of rape and sexual assault against six young girls and the sexual assault of a boy following a nine-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court last Friday (10/01).
The offences began in 1989 when Oluronbi set up a church group at a house in Winson Green. It was after these meetings the abuse for many of his victims would take place.
Oluronbi, now 60, carried out what he would call ‘spiritual work’ which involved bathing his victims, this is when the sexual abuse would take place and in some cases he made them drink perfume. On some occasions, 58-year-old Juliana also carried out the ‘spiritual baths’, assisting her husband in the abuse.
One of his victims was as young as nine when the abuse began and for some, it continued into adulthood. Oluronbi would brainwash his victims into thinking that the abuse was a normal part of their religion, claiming that it warded off evil and even that it would help improve their school grades.
Four of the girls fell pregnant and when they did, Oluronbi and his wife arranged for a paid abortion or Michael would administer the drug himself.
When one of the girls left home, the couple who are both from Hockley assisted in getting her a flat where the abuse continued despite her telling him repeatedly to leave her alone.
Earlier this year, a family member of one of the victims confronted Oluronbi and his wife at their home address where he claimed the devil made him carry out the abuse.
Detective Inspector Dave Sproson, from the Public Protection Unit, said: “These were sickening crimes committed against children who had put their trust in Oluronbi and looked up to him.
“Oluronbi was arrested in May last year at Birmingham Airport after it was feared he was preparing to flee the country.
“I hope his conviction offers some closure to the victims and I would like to thank them for their bravery throughout the trial.”
Michael Oluronbi was found guilty of six counts of rape of a child, nine counts of rape of an adult, seven counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of sexual assault of an adult. Michael and Juliana will be sentenced next month.
West Midlands Police have a specialist team which handles cases like this and has an excellent track record of bringing historical sex offenders to justice and if anyone has suffered abuse in the past please get in touch with them. The force works with a raft of other agencies who can offer support through every step of the criminal justice process with a range of measures designed to protect those giving evidence in court via video link or from behind a screen. For more information visit their website at www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/child-sexual-abuse