A 31-year-old New York man who calls himself a “spiritual healer” has been accused of sexually assaulting five people and causing a woman to have a miscarriage by walking on her stomach, authorities say. Christian Robles, of the Bronx, was arrested Tuesday after three men and two women went to police and reported they had been abused by the “spiritualist,” NBC New York reports.
The victims, women ages 26 and 39, and men ages 20, 24 and 29 went to a Bronx police precinct and said Robles had threatened to kill them if they reported him, investigators told the New York Post. Robles, who lives in the Fordham Heights neighborhood, was arrested on several charges, including sexual assault and illegally performing an abortion.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Victims Told Police Robles Forced Them to Drink a Liquid That Made Them ‘Tremble & Shake’ & Then Sexually Abused Them
The five victims, which included a mother and son and a husband and wife, and ranged in age from 20-39, told detectives that Christian Robles made them drink an unknown liquid, which they described as an oil, police sources told the New York Post. The liquid caused them to “tremble and shake,” the victims said. Robles would then cut off their clothes and sexually abuse them, the victims told police. According to the Post, Robles threatened the victims with a knife after the assaults and said he would kill them if they told anyone.
The victims told police that the “potion” that Robles gave them before the assaults incapacitated them, CBS New York reports. Robles described himself as a “spiritualist” to the victims, who said they were his clients. The incidents occurred between April and May, CBS New York reports. The victims had come to him for spiritual advice, CBS reports.
Sources told PIX11 that Robles charged from $100 to $1,500 for spiritual healing. The sources told the news station that during Robles’ meeting with the mother and son, he asked the mother to leave the apartment before telling her son that he could also become a “vessel for saints to enter him.”
2. One of the Victims, Who Was 6-Weeks Pregnant, Told Police Robles Stood on Her Stomach & Back, Forcing a Miscarriage During a ‘Ritual
One of the victims was six-weeks pregnant when she went to Christian Robles for spiritual help along with her husband, CBS New York reports. She told police that while Robles was molesting her husband, Robles told her not to watch. When she did look, Robles performed a “ritual” that led to a miscarriage, she told police.
According to the New York Post, the 29-year-old woman told police that Robles made her lay on her back as he stood on her stomach for 10 minutes. The woman was then told to flip over onto her stomach and Robles stood on her back, which forced a miscarriage, the Post reports.
The “ritual” was an apparent punishment for watching Robles as he abused her husband, sources told PIX11. Abortions is a crime in New York when a miscarriage is caused without the mother’s consent, according to PIX11.
3. Robles Has 3 Young Children Who Have Been Taken Into the Custody of Children’s Services
Robles has three children under the age of 10 who were living with him at his Fordham Heights apartment at the time of his arrest, ABC News reports. The children have been taken into the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services, the news network reports. According to NBC New York, neighbors said the children were always dressed well as they walked to school.
The sexual abuse is alleged to have occurred inside Robles’ Bronx apartment, but it is not known if his children were home during those incidents. Little other information about Robles has been found, including whether he is married or if he lived with anyone other than his children. It is also not known if he has a previous criminal record.
Robles lives on Ryder Avenue near East 181st Street, PIX11 reports.
4. Neighbors Say There Was a Fire at Robles’ Apartment Recently & They Have Heard Chanting Coming From Inside
Some neighbors told NBC New York about strange occurrences at Robles’ apartment. One woman said there had been a fire in the apartment recently and wondered if that was related to rituals. Another neighbor told the news station that people often went in and out of Robles’ apartment and she sometimes heard chanting. According to News 12, Robles was performing “Santeria rituals” inside the apartment.
But other neighbors didn’t see anything unusual at Robles’ apartment. “He was a quiet man, in and out with his family and children,” Surlease Dawson, told NBC New York. We never knew nothing about rituals.”
Ronald Barrero told WABC-TV, “I’ve seen the guy, I’ve spoken to him personally and I never thought of that of him. You know, he has a family.”
5. Robles Was Charged With 3 Counts of Sex Abuse, 3 Counts of Assault, Possession of a Weapon, Menacing & Illegally Performing an Abortion
According to NBC New York, Robles was charged with three counts of sex abuse, three counts of assault, possession of a weapon, menacing and illegally performing an abortion. The case was investigated by the Bronx division of the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit, CBS New York reports.
Robles, who was expected to appear before a judge on Wednesday after his Tuesday night arrest, did not comment when walked past reporters outside of a Bronx police precinct. He kept his head down and to the side to avoid cameras. It is not clear if he has hired an attorney.
Police are continuing to investigate and have said there could be additional victims.