Seoul: The Mega Church Pastor, Jaerock Lee, who raped as many as eight female followers in God’s name, was sentenced 15 years in prison on Thursday.
According to The Washington Post, the pastor told the victims that he was “carrying out an order from God.”
In its verdict, the court stated that victims were psychologically positioned to obey Lee.
“The victims, who attended the church since childhood, believed that obeying Lee as a godlike figure is the path to heaven. Apparently, the victims were psychologically positioned to be powerless to disobey Lee, and Lee took advantage of their status to commit the crime,” the verdict asserted.
Lee is the head of the Manmin Central Church, which claims to have 133,000 followers, and 10,000 branches and associate churches worldwide, reported The Washington Post.
The Pastor was removed from the Christian Council of Korea in 1999 for his “heretical” beliefs and was also branded a “cult leader” by the Korean Ministry Association after he claimed that he was without sin and exempt from dying.
The court also stated that Lee denied the “objective facts” during the investigation and did not regret his actions. The 75-year-old Pastor was about 50 years older than his victims, the court revealed said.
“The victims believed him to be a divine being who wields divine power. They would have accepted Lee’s behavior as a divine act, rather than a sexual one, and gave up questioning him, thinking that it would constitute a sin,” the Court stated.
For almost 20 years, Lee has been accused of abusing his powers to lure female followers to have sex with him, said The Washington Post.
As many as 300 of his supporters stormed a Korean television station after it broadcast a documentary critical of Lee and his claims that he could cure illness in 1999.
The cult followers also obtained a court order preventing Munhwa Broadcasting from screening a story about Lee’s sex life.