Police in Brazil have seized a pastor accused of sexually abusing a young follower after telling her it would deliver her soul from sin.
Sick Marcio Cabral Conceicao was arrested in the city of Goiania, Goias State, on suspicion of sexually abusing a 20-year-old follower.
The 41-year-old suspect – a church minister of seven years – is believed to have committed the abuse while giving Bible studies classes.
He allegedly sexually abused his victim after telling her that her salvation depended on it.
Civil Police chief Amanda Menuci Petelinkar told local media: “The suspect and the victim had a relationship of trust.
“He even knew details about her life. He knew she had already suffered sexual abuse in childhood, and he used that trust to coerce her.”
Investigators found that the victim’s husband also went to Conceicao’s sermons but was later barred from attending.
According to Petelinkar, the suspect used his position in the church to coerce the man, just as he did with his wife.
During one session in January, the pastor allegedly convinced the victim to go to a motel with him.
It was afterwards that she is said to have realised she was being tricked and refused to meet with him again.
It was then that Conceicao allegedly began threatening her.
Bizarre messages seen by police showed how the pastor even pretended he was God in a bid to intimidate his victim.
In one message, he wrote: “I am the Lord of hosts, the creator of heaven and earth, no one can defeat me.
“If you don’t send a message tomorrow from inside the bus, everything I have said about you will come true.”
And in another message about her husband, he wrote: “If he rejects me, he is my enemy.
“I will kill half the world’s population, and if you don’t leave your dead husband for the living one, I will come after you.”
After receiving the threats, the victim went to the police.
The investigation is now completed, and the suspect faces being charged with sexual abuse by means of fraud.
According to reports, a new victim has since come forward, and Civil Police say the pastor may have even more victims.