A Birmingham Crown Court in the United Kingdom (UK) has convicted a Nigerian Pastor, Michael Oluronbi, of raping and sexually abusing children.

Michael and his wife, Juliana, according to Daily Mail, are facing jail sentence after subjecting their victims, most of whom are children, to sexual misconduct for no less than 20 years.

With the help of his wife, the self-styled prophet used his trusted position to convince some of his victims to take part in 'spiritual bathing', on a claim that it would ward off the evil in them, the report states.

Michael Oluronbi had admitted to a victim's family member who confronted him, that he's an animal. [BBC]
Michael Oluronbi had admitted to a victim's family member who confronted him, that he's an animal. [BBC]

Michael was found guilty of the offences against six women and a man - five of whom attended his church.

He was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault.

The 60-year-old's wife was convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape after helping to arrange some of the terminations.

During the trial, a jury heard that some of his female victims became pregnant multiple times, but were taken to abortion clinics to cover up what was happening.

Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, said Michael used what he called 'spiritual work' as a subterfuge for that sexual abuse.

"The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer 'holy baths' to some of his congregation in order to 'cleanse' them and protect them from evil influences.

"That activity began when his victims were children.

"There can be no doubt that its real purpose was to serve his sexual gratification," Phil was quoted as saying.

He added that for some of the female victims, the offence progressed to repeated rape on many occasions, leading to unwanted pregnancies and terminations.

Phil said, "You will learn that this man, who was revered and feared by his victims, kept a vice-like grip on many of them and continued to abuse them well into adulthood."

Michael's victims however described him as 'controlling' and 'almost like a king'.

Detective Superintendent Nick Walton, of West Midlands Police, said Michael convinced the children, through conversations with parents, to take the 'spiritual baths'.

Nick said, "He (Michael convinced a number of children... that these can benefit them either religiously, from a health perspective, or educationally.

"They'd be taken upstairs to the bathroom, stripped naked, sometimes wearing a red girdle - like a sash - and he would wash them down.

"On occasion he would sexually assault them, but also take them to an adjacent bedroom and subject them to sexual assaults and rape."

Prior to this development, Michael had earlier owned up to the sexual misconduct against his church members.

West Midlands Police in the UK released a filmed confession, in which Michael tells a victim's relative "everything was my fault" and describes himself as "an animal".

Michael's words in the filmed confession were, "I wasn't meant to be human.

"I wasn't meant to live under the roof of any human being and I said that I was an animal."

One of the victim's relative is then heard asking the pastor, "You know I said that you are a paedophile? Everyone knows that you're a paedophile. You know that that's the name they give to your type?"

Michael, raising his hands but with his eyes shut, then replied: "Fine."

He also claimed that the devil made him carry out the abuses.

Despite the recording, Michael denied any wrongdoing during the trial, forcing his victims to give evidence against him during nine weeks of legal proceedings.

He was said to have even laughed in the witness box while giving his own evidence.

Oluronbi was linked to a Christian church in Edgbaston, Birmingham - the Cherubim and Seraphim Church - whose roots are in Nigeria.

He set up on his own splinter group for about 40 adults and children - separate to the church and located at another address - where he began the practice of the 'spiritual bathing'.

The offences took place in Birmingham and London.