Philippines Releases Pastor Held in Trafficking Case

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Tom Randall, the American pastor and missionary held in connection with human trafficking at a Filipino orphanage he founded, is back in Ohio after three weeks behind bars.

Thirty-one orphans said they were routinely raped at the orphanage, the Christian Post reported.

But Joe Coffey, lead pastor at Randall's church, expressed doubts the Ohio pastor had played any role in the alleged abuse.

"There is no indication that he has done anything wrong so we just want him released," Coffey said.

According to Randall's Facebook page, all charges against him have been dropped.

Liberty law professor and child abuse expert Boz Tchvidjian told CBN News that he hopes the focus now will turn to helping the victims and working with investigators in the case.

"The leadership of the orphanage has a legal and moral duty to fully cooperate with that and to communicate publicly, to let people know that we are grieved by these allegations, by the very thought that these precious children may have been hurt and abused in our care," Tchvidjian said.

Coffey expressed similar sentiments in a statement on Facebook.

"We remain concerned for the orphans without a home to return to in Lucena City, and will do all we can to care for them," he said.

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