Sep 032014

Last week we asked our readers to pray for justice in the Philippine missionary child abuse case we’ve been covering.

We received a report afterwards from our friend, missionary Joe Mauk who was at the trial and he informed us that the trial had been continued for 6o days.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this tweet from Joe Coffey, who is the pastor of the church where Tom Randall, (the head of the missions group) attends;

Screenshot 2014-08-29 13.19.15

I responded to Coffeys’ tweet with my own information…he did not and has not responded.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 7.50.01 AM


That was followed up with this tweet from Coffey to a inquiry from a parishioner.

Screenshot 2014-08-29 13.42.43


The next morning, Randall announced in the church that all charges had been dropped to great applause and thanks to God.

Somebody is either seriously misinformed or is simply not telling the truth.

The following is Joe Mauks’ report from the trial itself.

“I wanted to give you a little update on the Sankey situation.  Still incredible to see what is trying to be manipulated behind the scenes.  As you may remember Aug. 8 there was a hearing where none of the witnesses received notices.  The presence “by chance” of one of our fellow rescuers caused the judge to re-schedule the hearing for three weeks later, Aug. 29.   We arrived for that hearing last Friday with 4 victims ready to give testimony and 11 others attending in support of them, including the former principal of the Cugley (Sankey) School and her husband (Alice and John Shepherd), also the teacher (Shirley, who received the first written reports smuggled out by two girls and passed them on to my daughter), my daughter and her husband, Trevor and Kathy Hill and others.  At first the attorneys of the two defendants did not show up.  The judge ordered them to be located and they appeared two hours later.  We discovered that this is still not the trial.  It was a continuation hearing on the defense motion to quash.  They were making the argument that the arrest of the two was not proper in procedure.  They objected to any testimony being entered as to the abuses reported to be going on but only wanted to prove that the two were not actually committing a crime at the time of the arrest.  The only witness called was the NBI agent from the Manila office who organized the raid.  Although the argument about invalid arrest should not apply to institutional abuse/human trafficking cases, they pressed issues like “where were they standing and what were they wearing at the time of the arrest?”  At the end of the testimony the judge ordered both sides (the government appointed prosecutor and the privately-hired defense attorneys) to present their final written arguments in a matter of days.  After which submission, he would make a ruling on the motion to quash.  The prosecutor asked for more time to prepare, the defense agreed to an extension and the judge dictated a memorandum to both attorneys instructing them to present their final written arguments within 60 days.

Nine hours later, the pastor of the church where Tom Randall is now living, tweeted the following:  “News frm filipines. all charges dropped against toto and deemed completely unjustified by judge #timeandtruth”

Tom Randall spoke in this pastor’s church this past Sunday morning and began with this statement: “Good news for Karen and me. Got a call from my lawyers about 2:30 a.m. and they said hearing finished and they are going to drop the charges against Toto and my godson.”  Wild applause followed.

How sad that there sat four victims ready to testify of the sorry state of the orphanage administration and the long-term systematic abuse that took place there and yet mission-funded attorneys were fighting desperately to not allow their voices to be heard.  We pray it will indeed go to trial and the voices of the victims will be allowed to be heard.”

We ask some questions…

Who is financing the defense of the accused?

Are the accused still involved with children on the mission field in any way?

Why are there conflicting statements with no response when questioned?

Why would either side deliberately misinform the public (and donors)?

Why am I the only person in media writing about this?

We covet your prayers.

For prior stories and background read here , here, and here.


  47 Responses to “Strange Twist In Philippine Child Abuse Case”

  1. If enough money is being thrown around, then this could be true.

  2. At this point if the only coverage is going to come from a blogger, this will end up being true.
    If I’d worked Mark Driscoll into the story maybe it would have gotten some attention.
    Abused children just aren’t news…

  3. I’m guessing Tom won’t be telling his church that the the victims never got to present evidence…never got to tell their story.

  4. Nonnie,

    It will be up to the rest of us to tell that story to the church…

  5. It isn’t that people don’t care, it is that we don’t know what has happened.

  6. Josh,

    I’ve written four stories on it…plus a podcast interview with a whistleblower and a victim.
    Are the stories unread or unclear?
    How do I inform people more effectively?

  7. The problem is not your communicating, it is that the only other reports are saying the exact opposite of what you say.

    The only two plausible explanations for Tom Randall’s side are that he either truly believes his guys are in the right, or that he has an orphanage that is a front for child sex trade.

  8. Is the claim that the “fix” is in at the courthouse?

  9. The claim right now is that someone is not being truthful about a very serious set of allegations.
    As I have provided screenshots for, Randall and his pastor announced that all charges had been dropped.
    An eyewitness at the trial says that is not true.
    That needs to be addressed and explained.
    The Philippine justice system seems to be one where money does talk…but I am only speaking to what I can report with truth and proof.

  10. Josh,

    No one is alleging that the orphanage was a front for the sex trade.
    The allegations are that those in charge of the orphanage committed sexual offenses.

  11. “US Pastor and Missionary Tom Randall Jailed in Philippines Over Molestation, Sex Trafficking Claims” – Christian post

    “Pastor Tom Randall Vindicated of Human Trafficking Charges” – charisma news

  12. Have you thought of writing a letter to the editor of a large Filipino newspaper? – perhaps get the Philippines version of Woodward and Bernstein to look into it.

  13. Josh,

    Those are not the charges being adjudicated now.

  14. MLD,

    I’ve been told that the American press will have to take the lead on this.

  15. What would be Randall’s advantage in lying about charges being dropped? Wouldn’t that be easily proven wrong in 60 days? Wouldn’t it seem more likely that he (or your source) misunderstood?

  16. “Those are not the charges being adjudicated now”

    So the only other motivation would be that Randall hates the kids and wants them to be raped?

  17. Just to make it clear, I am not advocating for or against Randall’s side. I just don’t have a clue. I have two Filipino pastor friends who know nothing of the orphanage or of the situation going on. I don’t know how I am supposed to be sure enough of the truth of the situation that I act on it, with the very little information available.

    If true, it is beyond awful. I simply have no reason for charging a pastor that I had never heard of with the most hideous of crimes, when the presiding legal system has dropped the charges against him.

  18. Josh,

    The charges against the other two defendants were not and have not been dropped.
    The timeline clearly shows that Coffey was informed of that the day before they announced it in church.
    The motivations for being untruthful are speculative, probably financial, and have nothing to do with your out of character response @ 16.

  19. “The timeline clearly shows that Coffey was informed ”

    So you are saying Coffey knows for sure that it was a 60 day extension, but straight out lied and said the charges had been dropped? Because it isn’t clear to me.

  20. Josh,

    I’m saying that Coffey was informed the day before (as my screen shots prove) and the next day Randall repeated the same thing in Coffey’s church.
    Coffey has not responded to my tweet or retracted it.

  21. Could it not be as I proposed, that either he or your source simply misunderstood?

  22. My sources were at the trial.
    Coffey and Randall had time after my tweet to check for how accurate my information or theirs was.

  23. Then it doesn’t make sense. They’ll be proven liars in 60 days.

  24. They’ll be proven liars as soon as I get the official trial proceedings…which we are attempting to do now.

  25. Again, something as easy a that to prove, I just don’t see what they had to gain by telling a lie. A misunderstanding seems more likely.

    If the charges are dismissed, are you a liar?

  26. If the charges have been dismissed then I have been lied to and have participated in a lie.
    If the charges have not been dismissed, then I have reported responsibly.

  27. Ehh, it seems more likely that someone is simply mistaken. I don’t see what either side has to gain by telling a lie in this instance.

  28. After all these years, I’m still the one on trial.
    I named my source, provided documentation, and asked questions without making definitive conclusions.
    It’s never enough.

  29. Why do you say you are on trial?

  30. #26…if wrong I’m a liar.
    Everyone else just is guilty of a “misunderstanding”.
    I get it, Josh.

  31. That is not what I said. At all.

    You are accusing the other side of lying. I KNOW that you are not a liar. If you have reported incorrectly, it is simply a misunderstanding.

    Given the lack of anything to gain by lying in this case, I would be likely to extend that same understanding to Coffey and Randall.

  32. So anywho, didn’t mean to stir a ruckus. It is NOT that I don’t care, it is just that I don’t understand what has happened.

  33. If money changed hands, they both could be correct. At the hearing there was 60 days granted…after the hearing, “magically” in the middle of the night, charges were dropped.

  34. London,

    I’m worried about that exact scenario…


    No problem.I just wish the other side of this was answering questions as well.
    I’ve been feeling pretty poorly the last couple of days, so I apologize if I was terse.

  35. No problem. And let me say, I know for sure that you believe what you are saying. I have no doubt that you are being truthful to your understanding of the situation.

    You are also correct that their is no “other side” to the story. They are not talking. It does make it very difficult to discern the truth. Plus, I sincerely hope that they are not taking advantage of those children.

  36. Sounds like the old Certs commercial (Stop! You’re both right!). Delayed then dropped perhaps as L speculated.

    I have been in enough legal fun to know that sometimes.guilty and not guilty can be true at the same time.

    For example, I have been convicted of a crime, and I have never been convicted of a crime. In my case, both true statements.

  37. This is another sick situation like in Visalia. Support for the abuser and further abuse to the victims. May God move in this travisty and justice be served.

  38. Neither Tom Randall nor Joe Coffey were at the court hearing. Joe Mauk, the Principal from the Cugley School on the Sankey compound, the teacher the victims confided in and numerous other individuals as well as four of the victims attended the hearing. They along with the prosecutor all were aware of the 60 days to respond to the Judge’s order….they all didn’t “misunderstand” the situation. ..the only two who weren’t there were Joe Coffey and Tom Randall…..

  39. this whole article, responses from all sides included, disturbs me…

    too much we don’t know… too much hearsay… too much possible rush to condemnation… too much not knowing enough to really say anything without some reservation…

    yet it’s all fair game and open sport on PP again. disturbing.

  40. There’s ZERO hearsay here.
    There is an eyewitness account in his own words.
    There are screenshots and a link to the statement as it was recorded.
    There are questions asked.
    I simply refuse to ignore the fact that children may have been abused and may still be in danger…and I really don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about that.

  41. The Cleveland Scene has written about the latest:

    “…Coffey tweeted to Scene that the news came directly from Randall’s lawyers. ”

    “Randall made it sound like he had several conversations with folks on the ground in the Philippines after his initial call from the attorneys, so it seems odd that he’d be so misinformed.”

    Mauk, in a message to Scene, communicated his frustration with the legal tactics at play.

    “The last few months there have been no arguments as to the truth of the charges,” Mauk wrote, “only technical arguments on whether the actual arrest procedure was valid. This is the old technique of seeking to get valid charges tossed out over a legal technicality….Even had it been successful, they are not being truthful. A failure to proceed to trial on a technicality is not the same as all charges being dropped! The truth of the charges was never examined!”

  42. Want to stop the lack of transparency? Invite Joe Mauk and the four brave victims willing to testify against their perpetrators to Joe Coffey’s institution. Allow them to speak to the congregants and let their voices be heard.

  43. Laura …Joe Mauk was here in Ohio in, late June of this year. Joe Mauk, acting in a Christian manner, wanted to sit down with Joe Coffey and talk to him and present actual documentation from the Philippine government of the charges against Toto and Jake. JOE COFFEY DECLINED THE MEETING. so much for Joe Coffey, in his position as lead pastor to act! Some would say….” oh that’s hearsay” “Joe Coffey would meet with meet with Joe Mauk”…..NOT SO AND I HAVE THE EMAIL TO PROVE JOE COFFEY DECLINED THE MEETING. So much for transparency and being upfront and candid with the congregation.

  44. I’ve known Joe Mauk for over 20 years and seen the integrity of his life, ministry and love for Christ. He is a man who can be trusted, when speaking about this.

  45. Melanie @#44 – Could you post that email from Joe Coffey in which he denies Joe Mauk a meeting?

  46. From: Joe Coffey
    Date: June 5, 2014 at 11:29:40 PM GMT+8
    To: Joe Mauk
    Cc: Jim Gaul , Andrew Paisley
    Subject: re: meeting
    I appreciate your offer to get together. I forwarded your email to some of our Elders and frankly we don’t understand the purpose of the meeting. It doesn’t seem like your desire is to reconcile with a Christian brother. Instead it sounds like you want to go over exactly what you told the press here in Ohio. To rehash old ground doesn’t seem to serve any God-honoring purpose.
    Please don’t assume we are relying on presuppositions. We have followed the investigation and the charges very closely.
    We trust that the authorities are doing a thorough investigation into the situation and our prayer is that the truth is revealed.
    If you have something to add to what you previously stated please let us know. Otherwise we prefer to decline your invitation.
    Joe Coffey

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