Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:58 am
Friends, relations and associates of Gabriel Omogbo, the 33 year old Nigerian Celestial Church pastor could still not believe that he could do what the US police said he did: calling for escorts or prostitutes in hotel rooms, assaulting and raping them and then stealing their money and valuables.
Christiana Komolafe, who works in Lagos wrote on his Facebook wall : “This can’t be true… Gabriel, how come? I just want this to be a case of mistaken identity. God help us.”
Joy Treasure, another friend of his who also lives inLagos also wrote: What happened to Gab?…Told my friends it’s not true, I believe it’s a set up.”
And those who could offer prayers for divine intervention have been doing so, right on the Facebook timeline of Omogbo, an account he maintains as Gabby Ben(Gabe).
Mosunmola IBk Jooda, also a Lagos friend of Gabriel declared herself terribly upset by the news and has called for an hour phone prayer session for him.
“One hour prayer for Gabriel via phone conference…. Info will b sent out shortly… With God nothing is impossible.. You shall be set free in Jesu’s name… AMEN”
“We all need to put him in our prayers…. Still can’t believe dis not him….not the person I know…dis are false allegations”, she added.
Incarcerated Omogbo, from Okokomaiko in Lagos, has also been swearing he’s innocent, according to a report by theDailyBeast.com.
But escorts from Backpage.com tell another story—saying he snatched their money before assaulting them.
“I didn’t do it,” the god-fearing son preached to his dad—not from a pulpit as the trained pastor he pretended to be but from behind bars as he denied raping and robbing prostitutes at knifepoint.
Here is the The Daily Beast report, written by M.L. Nestel:
Thirty-three-year-old “very toned” preacher Gabriel Omogbo has been defiantly sermonizing his innocence from prison “almost every day” to his father, Samson Omogbo, The Daily Beast has learned. “I am his father and of course I know none of these allegations are true,” Samson Omogbo said. “My son is not bad.”
The father said the family is supporting Omogbo, a Nigerian-born, college-educated preacher and, as demonstrated on his Facebook page, seemingly a devout holy man.
On any given Sunday, Gabriel Omogbo could be found in white robes delivering hymns and scripture like a dutiful holy messenger.
The accused pervy preacher is a natural, waking up his congregation with every “Can I get a hallelujah?” at the Celestial Church of Christ in Riverdale, Md.
Outside church may have been another story.
For Omogbo, it has been a quick detour to the dark side. Indeed, once detectives brought Omogbo into custody back on July 8, 2015, the sermons chronicled on the young man’s timeline turn almost sinister.
The father’s crestfallen son has been slapped with attempted murder and robbery charges for allegedly accosting at least three escorts he ordered private time with on Backpage.com this past summer at various motels and hotels in Rockville, Md.
But Samson Omogbo insists nobody knows his son better than he does. “They don’t know him,” he said. “My son always has taken care of everybody he’s known, and when he tells me he is innocent, I believe him.
“None of this is possible.”
The father told The Daily Beast that the family recently secured an attorney who is fighting for his son’s life in a Montgomery County Court. Via email, that attorney, Leon Geller, refused to comment on the case.
Omogbo is due back before a judge on Jan. 8.
According to the charging document, the holy man allegedly fleeced the escorts out of their cash and pricy gizmos before sadistically forcing them to have sex with him while he wielded a blade.
And while there are only two incidents documented, one law enforcement source told The Daily Beast more victims are likely to come forward. “These are the only ones that we know about,” the source, who requested anonymity, said. “There are likely going to be more now.”
It started with a threesome.
Two women were summoned “to hang out” at around 1 a.m. on June 13 inside Room 408 of a Rockville-based Best Western where a john, who called himself “T.J.,” met them, the court papers say. After a few hours, T.J. acted like he was getting ready to leave, then “pulled a knife out of his sock” and pointed it at the victims, demanding they “dump out their bags,” the papers say.
Both did as they were commanded.
One of the escorts handed over $300 and two iPhones along with a pink taser weapon, while the other escort gave up $60 and her lone iPhone.
Their property now T.J.’s, he allegedly “forced vaginal intercourse” with both women and then insisted they “shower before he left.”
On July 1, cops in Rockville were called to Room 349 at a Crowne Plaza Hotel, where a date with Gabriel Omogbo allegedly almost turned deadly.
An escort agreed to meet with Omogbo at around midnight at the hotel room, the court papers say. This time the john was described by his next victim as a man wearing Gucci jeans and speaking with “a very thick African accent.” The escort told cops the man who met her stood around 5-foot-10 with an “athletic build…he was skinny but his body was very toned.”
Once he arrived in the room, Omogbo apparently apologized for being late, claiming “he had a hard time getting in the hotel,” the papers say.
The two had “consensual sex,” and afterward Omogbo disappeared into the bathroom for a beat “to get cleaned up,” according to the report.
Then the bathroom door swung open, and there appeared her customer, “holding a fixed blade kitchen style knife,” the court papers say. As he told her to undress, he allegedly spit, “You are going to die today.”
The armed Omogbo then savagely socked his prey “several times,” and as the escort struggled, he allegedly sank his chops into her, “leaving a bite mark on her arm,” the papers say.
Somehow in the skirmish in the hotel room, Omogbo’s blade was turned on him, and the escort told authorities she “believes she stabbed him” in the gut. Flustered and draining crimson, Omogbo allegedly lay down in the hotel bathtub and asked his victim to join him in the bloodbath, telling her to “get in the bathtub and get cleaned up.” She refused.
But that didn’t stop Omogbo from allegedly helping himself to the woman’s iPad and $300 cellphone.
He then allegedly attempted to use the hotel towels in what the court papers suggest was an attempt to “try to wipe his blood up” and “clean up the crime scene.” Just before the wounded Omogbo made his getaway, he snatched the hot items and took back his bloody knife, and “placed it in the pants pocket,” according to the court papers.
In what may have been a moment of divine conscience kicking at the preacher, Omogbo apparently attempted to make amends by offering his prey “a cup of water with a complimentary coffee cup,” according to the court papers.
The latest incident helped authorities ultimately finger Omogbo for the escort attacks.
Montgomery County detectives caught up with each escort and, aided by forensic evidence and surveillance video, they all confirmed that Omogbo was the john who ripped off each one of them before raping (or attempting to rape) them.
Cops also scanned Omogbo’s Facebook page and linked the cellphone used by the bloodthirsty john and a number he listed when he was selling a gold Toyota Siena minivan on June 25.
Once he was wearing bracelets, Omogbo was hauled in for questioning. According to the police report, the preacher waived his right to silence and confirmed with cops that his cellphone number was the same one used by the john soliciting the escorts on Backpage.com. But he tried to convince them that he’d never been to the Rockville Crowne Plaza Hotel.
What about that “visible puncture type wound to his upper right abdomen area”? According to authorities, Omogbo said the gash “happened at work,” and while it “did bleed a lot,” he could grin and bear the pain.