American pastor back in US after release from PH jail

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Feb 07 2014 03:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2014 11:16 PM

REDWOOD CITY, California – The American pastor, imprisoned in the Philippines while authorities investigated allegations that his orphanage was a front for human trafficking, is free and back in the United States.

Pastor Tom Randall returned to the United States Wednesday after being released from a Philippine jail where he was held for 22 days on charges of negligence.

The charges were dropped this week.

Philippine authorities were investigating Randall and his staff at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena, Quezon, after they received a complaint that a worker kissed a 15-year old girl.

About 30 orphans had been removed during the investigation and the government closed the orphanage.

Randall’s Ohio-based employer Christ Community Chapel said in a statement: “We’re encouraged and relieved that the investigation into this accusation returned no evidence of wrongdoing on Tom’s part. We remain concerned for the orphans without a home to return to in Lucena City and will do all we can to care for them.”