Hudson Pastor Released from Philippines Jail
HUDSON, Ohio — A local pastor accused of sex trafficking was released from jail in the Philippines.
Tom Randall, who was on a mission trip to help with typhoon relief and to spend time at three orphanages he helped to build, was locked up for more than three weeks.
Monday, the senior pastor at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson made the announcement on the Free Tom Randall Facebook page.
Rev. Joe Coffey said Randall is free and all charges were dropped.
Randall was recently hired as a ‘pastor at large’ for the Christ Community Chapel but Coffey said he has known and supported Randall for nearly 20 years.
Coffey said Randall goes to the Philippines for one month each year and is supported by local churches and his ministry called World Harvest.
According to Coffey, one of the men who runs the orphanages was accused of kissing one of the girls.
“(Randall) went over to the Philippines to investigate it. They got child services involved,” said Coffey.
“The NBI, which is their version of the FBI, also got involved. They interviewed all the kids. They interviewed all the workers. They found that the girls ended up recanting their story, said they made it up about the person who runs the orphanage because he had taken privileges away from them,” said Coffey.
Coffey says the matter was dropped and everyone felt it was over, but it was followed by accusations of a sex trafficking operation being run out of the orphanage. Accusations that Coffey says came from the same source.
“The Philippines is very vigilant about sex trafficking, which we want them to be,” said Coffey. “They pretty much take action and ask questions later, and he was swept up into that and while that is being resolved in the Philippines, you stay in prison until your case is heard or they feel like there is insignificant evidence for it.”
Some 56,000 people liked a Facebook page called Free Tom Randall in the time the pastor was jailed.