BRASILIA (REUTERS) - A Brazilian faith healer who was accused of sexual abuse by more than 300 women has turned himself in a day after being officially ruled a fugitive, local news media reported on Sunday (Dec 16).
João Teixeira de Faria, 76, known as "John of God" and who became a celebrity when Oprah Winfrey broadcast a report on his healing methods in 2013, surrendered to the authorities in a roadway in Abadiânia, several news outlets said.
Since 1976, he has led a spiritual centre in Abadiânia, a small town in the central Brazilian state of Goiás.
Representatives for Faria and the police could not be immediately reached for comment.
A judge issued an arrest warrant for Faria last Friday, giving him until 2pm on Saturday to surrender. After he failed to report to the authorities, Faria was officially ruled a fugitive.
Faria drew thousands of Brazilians and foreigners to his spiritual centre in Abadiânia.
He denied the accusations last Thursday when he visited his centre and spoke to a crowd of followers. His lawyer last Saturday said Faria would turn himself in and file an appeal on Monday.
Faria could face charges of rape, with a prison sentence of 10 years if convicted, and rape of a vulnerable person, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years.