Christ Community Chapel pastor Joe Coffey tweeted out what sounded like great news Aug. 29, 2014:

All human trafficking charges were dropped against two men involved in an orphanage that one of the megachurch’s new preachers funded and helped lead in the Philippines.

This seemed to confirm what Coffey had told his congregation all along: There was no wrongdoing at the orphanage, and the arrest of his longtime friend and pastoral colleague Tom Randall and two others in the Philippines was a mistake.

Coffey ended the tweet with the hashtag #timeandtruth.

But now, after much more time has passed, a painful new truth is emerging about sex abuse allegations at the orphanage and how almost everything Coffey told the congregation about the case over the past five years was wrong.

Thousands of members of Christ Community Chapel (CCC) — which has churches in Hudson, Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood and Aurora and averages 4,000 attendees a week — will learn Sunday the findings of a new 27-page report based on a review by a former FBI agent and CCC member. Among other things, it concluded:

• Children at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena, Philippines, were most likely sexually abused by staff.

• Randall — who was not accused of sex crimes himself — for years misled Coffey, church members and others about what happened.

• CCC took in more than $3 million from Randall’s nonprofit — World Harvest Ministries, which had supported the orphanage and other missions — when it was dissolved following Filipino officials’ raid of the orphanage.

• CCC later administered some of the World Harvest Ministries money to fund the legal defense of the orphanage administrator and his son, who were accused of raping and molesting boys and girls.

• Coffey for five years relied entirely on what Randall told him about the orphanage, the allegations and the Filipino court proceedings without making any inquiries of his own.

“Tom [Randall] believed the Filipino workers were innocent, so I believed the Filipino workers were innocent,” Coffey said in a written statement provided to the Akron Beacon Journal on Friday.

“I thought the [CCC] review would bear that out. It didn’t. That means I made — and ultimately led many of you to make — the horrible mistake of discrediting an accuser,” Coffey wrote. “That was wrong, and I am very sorry.”

Randall, a missionary who traveled the U.S. and the world for more than 30 years, did not reply to a Facebook message seeking comment for this story.

Randall quietly quit CCC after church elders sought his resignation June 3 over “a clear violation of pastoral ethics.”

His departure — which came two months before the church report was complete — was not directly tied to how he handled the abuse allegations in the Philippines, a church spokeswoman said, but was instead prompted by a piece of Randall’s five-year campaign to obfuscate the truth.

CCC leaders this year discovered on their own that Randall faked an email that purportedly provided another missionary’s firsthand account of the police raid at the orphanage in 2014. Randall wrote it himself, a church spokeswoman said.

The CCC review was conducted this year after a handful of church members, later joined by a couple of others in the Greater Akron Christian community, requested that church leaders hire a third party to investigate.

CCC instead brought in an insider, Suzanne Lewis-Johnson, a CCC member who is a former FBI agent. Her review never aimed to establish criminal wrongdoing like an investigation might.

Rather, Lewis-Johnson focused on providing the church with information so it could assess its own response to the abuse allegations 8,344 miles away from CCC’s main campus in Hudson.

She instead relied on translations of Filipino documents from criminal and civil cases involving the Sankey orphanage, church documents and correspondence and some interviews — most, if not all of which had already been compiled and posted online at justiceforsankey.com by church members and others pushing CCC for an independent probe.

Here is some of what they found.

The beginning

Tom Randall has told various versions of how Sankey Samaritan Orphanage came to be.

No matter how it happened, the orphanage started accepting children in a poor, rural area of the Philippines in 2000.

Some were from troubled homes, but many had nearby families who surrendered their children because they were so poor that they couldn’t afford to feed and house them.

While Randall’s name never appears in Filipino incorporation papers for the orphanage, he has referred to himself as the founder of Sankey as recently as this year. Events laid out in the report make it clear that he considered himself in charge.

Randall used his own nonprofit — World Harvest Ministries, established in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1992 — to provide money to Sankey.

The Randalls, who once lived in the Philippines, visited the orphanage over the years, but lived in Oklahoma much of time time while Tom Randall worked as chaplain for the Professional Golf Association Champions Tour. When Randall left that job, he and his wife moved to Stow.

On Nov. 1, 2013, Randall joined the staff of CCC.

Four days later, bad news arrived.

Joseph Mauk, another missionary and ministry partner of Randall’s, contacted Randall and said his family had letters from two girls at the orphanage about abuse. The CCC report included summaries and excerpts from the letters.

“Before I share my shameful secret, I hope that whoever reads this won’t change their opinion of me,” wrote one girl. “But now I really need to talk about it because I don’t want the same thing to happen to anyone else.”

The letter goes on to describe how Sankey’s administrator — Perfecto “Toto” Luchavez — grabbed her and violently kissed her. The letter abruptly ends midsentence before the girl finishes telling her story, the CCC report said.

Another letter from a second girl described multiple, escalating incidents, the CCC report said.

Mauk urged Randall not to tell Luchavez.

“If you give [Luchavez] any indication you have been informed of this, innocent people may suffer and most likely no additional evidence of wrongdoing will ever come forth from our kids,” Mauk wrote in an email cited in the CCC report.

It is not clear whether Randall told anyone at CCC about the abuse allegations at the orphanage. But Randall, ignoring Mauk’s advice, immediately called Luchavez, the CCC report said.

Randall would later say he felt no great urgency to investigate since one of the girls who wrote a letter had a “pattern of false allegations” every couple of years since she was 13, the CCC report said.

Randall said he either spoke on the phone with the accused, who denied the allegation, and then “confronted” the girl. Or, Randall “confronted” the girl in front of the accused “and she admitted the allegations were false.”

Neither method would likely extract the truth, the CCC report points out, because Randall “reversed the typical role of victim and subject, with the subject being believed on the spot, while the victim was interrogated for lying.”

The Randalls, who usually visited the Philippines over Christmas, arrived at Sankey Dec. 11, 2013, about six weeks after learning of the abuse allegations.

The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation raided Sankey orphanage Jan. 13, 2014, removing 31 children and placing them with social services.

In an affidavit, the government said it received information from the U.S. Embassy in Manila and others that “operators of the orphanage are trafficking adults and minors and are also allegedly sexually abusing the orphans.”

The day after the raid, the Filipino government wrote an arrest affidavit for Toto Luchavez, his son Jake and a third man, Melvin Garcia, a former dorm parent at Sankey.

In it, officials said two boys, ages 13 and 11, were forced to perform oral sex on Jake Luchavez, and a girl, age 11 or 12, was forced to do the same with Garcia.

“There exists a pattern of continuing sexual abuse and exploitation occurring inside the orphanage’s premises with the maintainer [Toto Luchavez] as the sexual predator,” said the government affidavit cited in the CCC report.

Both Toto and Jake Luchavez faced human trafficking charges. The government recommended Randall be charged as an accessory and for obstructing the investigation.

In an affidavit, investigators said Randall was told several times about sexual abuse, “but for reasons known only to him, [he] chose to ignore the complaints.”

Randall’s arrest ignited a firestorm in Hudson.

Coffey, who had known Randall for more than 20 years, publicly said his friend and fellow pastor had done nothing wrong. The pastor publicly repeated what Randall told him: One or two girls at Sankey had claimed they had been kissed, but retracted their stories.

“In the Filipino government, the way they work with that kind of accusation is they take action first and then they start to ask questions and try to figure out later,” Coffey told his congregation.

Randall — who was communicating with Coffey from jail — apparently didn’t mention the rape allegations against Sankey staff.

After 22 days, Randall was released from jail without being prosecuted and returned to Ohio, but the saga of Sankey continued.

It is not clear what happened to Garcia, but charges of human trafficking were dropped against Toto Luchavez and his son — only to be replaced by child abuse and sex abuse charges.

But the criminal cases languished until 2016, when a judge provisionally dismissed the charges against father and son after prosecution witnesses failed to show up in court.

The judge didn’t clear the father and son of wrongdoing, the CCC report makes clear, stating that the definition of probable cause remained and that “abuse was more likely to have occurred than not.”

By then, Sankey was closed.

Social workers in the Philippines discovered additional claims of abuse involving eight children.

One girl also said she was asked to massage Toto Luchavez for money, the report said. And two others said they were kidnapped off the streets when they were 10 and 11 years old and taken to Sankey, where they were kept in a gym for almost a week before escaping.

Based on the social service agency findings, Sankey lost its license in April 2014.

Randall, however, continued to send money to Toto Luchavez, only now the money flowed through CCC.

Payment trail

Sometime after he was released from jail, Randall dissolved his nonprofit World Harvest Ministries and turned over nearly $3 million in cash, investments and assets to the church at Coffey’s suggestion, the CCC report said.

Earlier this year, someone realized the church was wiring money to Toto Luchavez at Randall’s request.

When church leadership learned of the transfers, they ordered them to cease, the CCC report said.

In previous years, CCC also transferred funds to pay the legal expenses and bond of Luchavez and his son, the CCC report said.

The CCC report concludes by saying it contains only “highlights” of facts reviewed “which aim to provide CCC with enough information on which to assess past decisions and adjust court moving forward.”

Yet the report will likely stun CCC’s congregation, which for years has been told nothing bad happened at the orphanage and that Randall — who continued to preach locally and around the world — was the the true victim of the scandal.

“More than it harmed the church,” the CCC report said, “the conduct harmed victims who perhaps wanted nothing more than to be believed.”

Amanda Garrett can be reached at agarrett@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @agarrettabj.