A dozen women have come forward in Brazil to accuse a prominent self-styled spiritual healer of sexually abusing them at his clinic.
Joao Teixeira de Faria – known as “Joao of God” – is based in the town of Abadiania but has followers worldwide.
A Dutch photographer, Zahira Leeneke Maus, told Globo TV that he had manipulated her into performing sex acts and then raped her. In a statement to Globo, Mr Faria’s office strongly denied the allegations.
It said the 76-year-old had used his powers to treat thousands of people, and “vehemently rejects (allegations of) any improper practice during his treatments”.
Nine Brazilian women, who remained anonymous, also told Globo TV that the self-declared healer had abused them on the premise of transferring his “cleansing” energy.
Some said they had been seeking a cure for depression when the alleged abuse took place. The related O Globo newspaper later said it had spoken to two further women with similar allegations.
Faria who is not a medical doctor, has previously been fined and jailed for operating without a licence. (BBC)