A church pastor and self-styled prophet who repeatedly raped children after “holy baths” has been jailed for 34 years.
Michael Oluronbi, 60, abused six girls and a boy over 20-year period, claiming the baths would ward off evil.
His wife, Juliana Oluronbi, who arranged abortions after four girls became pregnant, was jailed for 11 years.
Both were found guilty by jurors at Birmingham Crown Court after a trial in January.
The trial heard Oluronbi had victims stand naked in a bowl of water to undergo what he called “spiritual bathing”.
He claimed it would cleanse their souls and protect them from the devil.
But Philip Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the trial Oluronbi’s true purpose “was to serve his sexual gratification”.
In some cases, he added, the offending “progressed to repeated rapes, on many occasions leading to unwanted pregnancies and terminations”.
Oluronbi was arrested at Birmingham Airport last May, while trying to leave the country for Nigeria.
The defendant, of Orchard Drive, Longbridge, told police “the devil made me do it” after his arrest.
Judge Sarah Buckingham, sentencing, said Oluronbi’s crimes “must be one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts”.
“You did this because you are an arrogant, selfish and vain man,” she said.
In statements read to the court, one of the victims, now in her thirties, said Oluronbi had “taken my innocence, my youth and my purity as a child”.
Another said: “I used to eat soap until I was physically sick so I could get rid of this man’s mark on me inside and out.”
A third woman said she no longer attended church.
“I don’t think I can ever place my faith in religion again. I trusted him,” she said, “because he was like God on earth.”
During the trial, jurors heard Oluronbi was linked to the Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Edgbaston, which has roots 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.
Oluronbi, originally from Nigeria, was found guilty of 15 rape charges, seven indecent assaults and two sexual assaults.
His wife, of Walker Road, Walsall, was found guilty of three charges of aiding and abetting rape.