A self-styled preacher who posted TikTok videos claiming he could cure people of Covid-19 has been arrested in the Basque Country after skipping a 17-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two Costa Blanca children.
Manuel Navarro Perez lived in Alicante and carried out over a dozen sexual assaults on a girl, 12, and a boy, 7, in 2015.
A relative regularly let him babysit the youngsters who tried to resist but were beaten into submitting to his vile demands.
One child had a forehead burnt with an iron and both were hit by belts.
Navarro Perez warned the children that he would ‘kill their parents’ if they reported him.
His excuse over the youngsters physical injuries was that they were caused through playing.
Despite being convicted of abuse in 2019, he was not officially required to enter jail until October 2021 when the Supreme Court ratified his original 17-year sentence.
He fled from Alicante Province but the paedophile’s arrogance was his undoing as police monitored social media to see if they could locate him.
A woman called Adela boasted on the TikTok platform that she had a new boyfriend and posted footage of them together.
Videos also showed Navarro Perez preaching evangelical messages of his ability to heal people, including Covid-19 sufferers.
Claims included how he went to hospital intensive care units and touched people on the chest or head ‘with the hand of God’ to cure them.
The postings of Navarro Perez attracted around 5,000 followers including that of the Policia Nacional.
The girlfriend had family in the Basque Country and was eventually tracked down to a house in Alava.
Police monitored the property for a week and saw a man inside who was always on a phone but never ventured outdoors.
He’d lean out on a balcony to have a cigarette allowing officers to photograph him and to positively identify the fugitive.
A judge still refused a warrant to go in, so the police waited patiently and eventually he did go outside with Adela.
He was arrested despite saying he was somebody else as he produced an ID card with his brother’s name on it.
Navarro Perez is now serving out his jail term in an undisclosed prison and faces three additional legal claims against him.