NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

US Announces Sex-Trafficking Charges Against Philippines President Ally.

US Announces Sex-Trafficking Charges Against Philippines President Ally

Apollo Carreon Quiboloy (second right) is followed by millions of Filipinos

US prosecutors on Thursday announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.

A 74-page indictment charges Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and other church officials, including two U.S.-based church administrators, with running a sex-trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with "eternal damnation" and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles said the new indictment expanded on allegations made last year against three church administrators based in the city. It charges nine defendants with participating in a scheme in which church members were brought to the United States using fraudulently obtained visas and forced to solicit donations to a bogus children's charity.

Prosecutors said the donations were used to pay for "lavish lifestyles" of the church leaders.

The latest indictment adds Quiboloy and five other new defendants to an existing indictment filed in 2020. Prosecutors said U.S. authorities arrested three of the new defendants on Thursday, but three others, including Quiboloy, were believed to be in the Philippines.

Lawyers for the new defendants could not immediately be identified and the Philippines embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The indictment alleges that Quiboloy and two other defendants recruited females aged 12 to 25 as personal assistants, or "pastorals." It said they were required to prepare Quiboloy's meals, clean his residences, give him massages and have sex with him during what they called "night duty."

Quiboloy, a self-proclaimed "Owner of the Universe" and "Appointed Son of God", is a longtime friend and spiritual adviser of Duterte. The influential evangelist is followed by millions of Filipinos.

In September, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, a candidate for next year's presidential election who has frequently clashed with Duterte, sued Quiboloy for libel after he accused the multiple world champion of embezzling funds intended for a sports complex.

Church leaders are highly influential in Philippine elections.

Duterte is prevented by the constitution from running for a second term as president. He has reacted negatively in the past to attacks on allies and last year vowed to terminate a key military pact with the United States after a Philippine senator who was an ally was denied a U.S. visa.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Related news
Mike Rowe, John Rich top Adele on iTunes chart with ‘Santa’s Gotta Dirty Job’.

Mike Rowe, John Rich top Adele on iTunes chart with ‘Santa’s Gotta Dirty Job’.

FOX Business' Mike Rowe and Country music star John Rich joined 'Fox & Friends Weekend' to discuss the success of their hit Christmas song. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News!  Watch more Fox News Video:  Watch Fox News Channel Live:  FOX News Channel...

Press Preview: A look inside Monday's newspapers

Press Preview: A look inside Monday's newspapers

We take a first look at Monday's newspapers with the Financial Times' Whitehall Editor, Sebastian Payne and The Spectator's Economics Correspondent Kate Andrews. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Fa...

Democrats’ ‘frightening’ policies legitimize crime, Rep.

Democrats’ ‘frightening’ policies legitimize crime, Rep.

Rep. Jordan: Democrats ‘shouldn’t be surprised’ their policies cause more crime Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticizes Democratic city leaders and district attorneys who have gotten rid of bail and defunded police departments. ... JIM JORDAN: It does...

Former Senator Bob Dole Dies at 98

Former Senator Bob Dole Dies at 98

At the U.S. Capitol, the American flag that Bob Dole long served, now flies at half-staff in his honor. He was a Senator, presidential candidate, and champion for veterans and people with disabilities. Dole carried grave wounds from WWII through t...

Investigation Into Michigan High School Shooter Continues.

Investigation Into Michigan High School Shooter Continues.

James and Jennifer Crumbley are now behind bars after being captured and charged Saturday with four counts each of involuntary manslaughter. The school is releasing new details on what happened in the hours leading up to the shooting that killed f...

Concerns grow over omicron variant

Concerns grow over omicron variant

Seventeen states are now reporting cases of the new COVID-19 variant.