A bishop who sexually assaulted a young girl and a woman during “private prayer sessions” at a Christian centre in Peckham, has been jailed.
Benjamin Egbujor, 55, from Kent attacked both victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – between 2011 and 2013.
Egbujor selected a girl who was aged under sixteen from his congregation, and invited her to a private prayer session, at the church in SE15.
After being taken into his private office, the girl was exploited by being forced to undress, and oil was poured over her.
Met Police detectives started an investigation in January 2014, after the girl disclosed to her family she had been abused by Egbujor.
Their investigation also led to the discovery that another woman in her thirties had been sexually assaulted by Egbujor in a separate incident.
The adult victim said the bishop was assisted in his degrading attack by his secretary, 43-year-old Rose Nwenwu, who took part by undressing the victim and pouring oil over her.
Egbujor and Nwenwu were both found guilty on March 9 after a trial at Inner London Crown Court. He was also found not guilty of one count of sexual assault.
Egbujor, of Harold Avenue in Belvedere, was sentenced on March 31 to three years’ imprisonment for the sexual assault and for inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Joining him in the dock, Nwenwu, of Thurlestone Road in West Norwood, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for sexual assault, and for helping and encouraging Egbujor.
Detective inspector Angela Craggs, of the Met’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Command, said: “Egbujor and Nwenwu exploited the trust of their congregation when they targeted and abused these victims. They believed their position within the church would protect them from facing justice, but the court has held them accountable for their actions.
“I hope this conviction serves to empower victims of sexual violence to come forward and report to police, and as a warning to offenders who think they can use their position to protect them from the law.”
Both were made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.
PC James Bell, of the Met’s Offences and Child Abuse Command, said: “Egbujor and Nwenwu preyed on their victim’s vulnerabilities, whilst satisfying their own sexual urges under the guise of private prayer. I commend the victims for their courage and commitment in this case.
“I fear there may be other victims who have not yet come forward and I urge them or any victim of sexual abuse to tell the police what happened.”
Anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault should contact their local police force, or call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.
*The name of the church and address of the church has been omitted from this story in order to provide anonymity for the victims