The following timeline presents some of the documented evidence that we believe indicates the need for an independent investigation to establish clarity. There are many unanswered questions about what truly happened at Sankey Samaritan children’s home.
2000 - Sankey begins taking children
The first children arrived at Sankey in 2000. Tom Randall’s version of the founding of Sankey differs from the first director’s version. Toto Luchavez became the director around 2004.
Fall 2012 - Victim 1 begins disclosing
Victim 1 told the in-house social worker about the director’s harassment of her in October 2012. This is also stated in an affidavit filed by Sankey’s assistant coordinator.
Mid-2013 - Multiple staff resign
Sankey’s original social worker resigned from her post. Other houseparents resigned as well. A new social worker began working at Sankey in September.
Aug-Sep 2013 - Victim 1 discloses more widely
Victim 1 began telling the other wards at Sankey about her experience, causing some “disorganization”, says the assistant coordinator’s affidavit. The affidavit also states that Victim 1 disclosed to a short-term missionary who arrived at Sankey in the summer of 2013. Another ward’s affidavit says he informed Tom Randall when he heard about it.
Sep 15, 2013 - Issues noted at Sankey
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) issued a report that recommended holding Sankey’s license to operate in abeyance, citing numerous issues, including that director Toto Luchavez was conducting counseling sessions without documenting them, that children were being discharged without proper paperwork, and that Sankey was keeping the children in long-term care against DSWD policy.
Sep 30, 2013 - Victim 1 signs a retraction
Nov 5, 2013 - Letters sent to Tom Randall
Joe Mauk emailed Tom Randall with scanned letters from two girls detailing multiple forced kisses by Toto Luchavez, director of both the children’s home and World Harvest’s operations in the Philippines. Mauk’s daughter and her friend had received the letters directly from the girls. Mauk wrote:
If you give Toto 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.
Nov 6-7, 2013 - Toto Luchavez informed of reports
Tom Randall says he put Toto Luchavez on leave from his Sankey role (Dec 2018). According to Toto Luchavez’s affidavit, he was told this was due to the complaints from Joseph Mauk but that Randall did not indicate he believed the complaints had substance.
Randall has at times claimed he didn’t tell Toto anything except to stay in his house and other times claimed he fired him (Dec 2013). Randall has also said Luchavez was not put on leave from his role as World Harvest director (Dec 2018). A witness says Luchavez continued to use his office on the Sankey compound.
Nov 16, 2013 - Change of guards
After receiving concerning reports that the young people’s communication access was being restricted, and that a man was being allowed into the girls’ dorm at night, Joe Mauk consulted his lawyer and security agency. They believed it would be prudent to change the guards assigned to the compound and add a female guard for the girls’ dorm. Toto Luchavez refused to allow the guard change and called military friends to prevent it. Tom Randall was called. After a tense altercation, Randall agreed to allow the guard change. Police arrived and defused the military situation. Days later, the new guards fled their posts and wrote to their employer explaining why: Luchavez had hired a new security agency and accused them of trespassing.
Randall describes this event quite differently. He claims Mauk was trying to “take over” the Sankey property. He says that armed men searched the houses and the property, and that the children were sequestered in a room and questioned. He says he warned Mauk that if he didn’t leave, he was going to call the police (Dec 2018). Sankey later filed suit against Mauks et al for trespassing.
Dec 13, 2013 - Tom Randall speaks to Miriam Bongolan
Tom Randall spoke to Miriam (Mauk) Bongolan and her teacher friend who had received the first abuse reports in the Philippines. This is recorded. He said Bongolan and her whole family could be deported. He also admitted he was the one who had the children’s communication devices removed. He claimed he was trying to protect everyone, including the kids and the Mauks.
Dec 18, 2013 - DSWD follow up visit
DSWD officials visited Sankey to follow up on the September report. Karen Randall wrote:
We went over several pages of things they are suggesting as changes in the handbook and Benny had already taken care of most of the changes. So it was a long morning but necessary in the grand scheme of things.
The newsletter does not mention an abuse investigation.
Dec 29, 2013 - Ministry trip with Toto Luchavez
Tom Randall, Toto Luchavez, a basketball team from the United States, and several Sankey boys began a basketball ministry trip. Luchavez gave a spiritual testimony on the trip. Randall has said that at this time he was awaiting the final report from a DSWD investigation of the earlier abuse claims (Dec 2018).
Jan 13, 2014 - NBI AHTRAD rescue
The NBI executed an emergency rescue. During the rescue, a houseparent was found in an orphan’s room, but the staff prevented the NBI from questioning them.
Tom Randall, Toto Luchavez, and Jake Luchavez were arrested and taken to the NBI office in Manila. Randall has claimed he was interviewed by US Homeland Security agents who told him he would not be charged. Nonetheless, he and the Luchuvezes were eventually taken into the NBI detention center in Manila while the NBI investigated further to determine charges.
The Sankey youth were taken into DSWD custody and interviewed. Several gave sworn statements describing forced kisses, girls paid to give massages to Luchavez, rape, and more. In total, four of the children’s home staff were named as alleged perpetrators. Miriam Bongolan says that she and her family were called in to help care for the kids and provide food and toiletries. Randall has said he was called and asked to pay for food for the children.
Jan 14, 2014 - Joe Coffey blames 'Joe M'
Joe Coffey, Tom Randall’s senior pastor and friend, published a blog post defending Randall and blaming a “Joe M” for putting Randall and the Luchavezes in jail.
Jan 14, 2014 - Karen Randall defends Toto and Jake
Karen Randall sent out a letter to friends thanking them for their prayer for Tom, Toto, and Jake. She wrote:
I know in my heart that none of the charges are true. The problem with some of these allegations is that sometimes something sticks even when the people are innocent. We have hired a very good law firm and the lawyers have been with the guys every step of the way.
Jan ~15, 2014 - Free Tom Randall page begins
Jan ~16, 2014 - Sen. Portman intercedes for Randall
Reported in MyTownNEO:
“Senator Portman’s staff reached out to and spoke directly with Ambassador Cuisia, the Filipino Ambassador in Washington, regarding Tom Randall,” Michael Haidet, Portman’s deputy press secretary, said Jan. 16. “Our office is continuing to work all diplomatic channels to investigate this situation.”
Jan 17, 2014 - Joe Coffey defends Luchavez
Joe Coffey told Fox8:
To know Tom Randall, I mean, we have sent literally hundreds of our people on mission trips over there. I mean, we built that orphanage for him, we have seen him interact with the kids, we have seen Mr. Luchavez’ interact with the kids — there is no possibility that it is a sex trafficking thing, I mean, that is beyond the pale.
Jan 19, 2014 - Joe Coffey says a girl made up allegation
Joe Coffey told all services at Christ Community Chapel that a girl had made up an allegation because she was angry about being disciplined. Coffey claimed the church was experiencing an attack from Satan. He said he had appealed to Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who reached out to the Philippine ambassador about the case. He said Tom Randall’s ministry was paying all attorney fees for him, Toto and Jake.
Jan 19, 2014 - Karen Randall says multiple complainants
Karen Randall wrote to supporters referring to plural complainants. She said that they did not believe the alleged victims were making complaints on their own accord.
Jan 29, 2014 - No competing narrative allowed
The Cleveland Scene reported that many comments were being removed from the “Free Tom Randall” Facebook page.
Jan 30, 2014 - Charges filed
Toto Luchavez was charged with multiple counts of lascivious acts against female minors. Jake Luchavez was charged with 1 count of rape and 1 count of committing a lascivious act, both against male minors. Tom Randall was not charged and was released on Feb 3. It’s unproven how much effect Portman’s influence had in the lack of charges against Randall.
Feb 9, 2014 - Coffey tells church charges 'downgraded'
Joe Coffey and Tom Randall addressed all services at Christ Community Chapel. Congregants were told that the Luchavezes’ charges had been “downgraded” and that they were out on bail, which received a round of applause. He did not mention that they were still charged with sexual abuse. Tom Randall called Sankey “the finest orphanage in the world”.
Feb 21, 2014 - Randalls announce thankful for downgrade
The Randalls posted on the “Free Tom Randall” Facebook page:
We are thankful that Tom’s case was completely dismissed. Toto and Jake’s case was downgraded so that they were eligible for bail. They had to stay a couple extra days while the bail was settled but they are resting and just trying to gather the bits of their lives that were shattered by this case.
Feb 25, 2014 - Randalls claim allegations untrue
The Randalls posted on the “Free Tom Randall” Facebook page (emphasis mine):
Unfortunately, the national DSWD and the NBI Headquarters in Manila were not communicating and unaware of the ongoing investigation by their local counterparts in Lucena where we are located. This lack of communication and confusion between agencies and the very serious but completely untrue allegations urging an emergency raid culminated in my illegal arrest and the kids being detained.
May 2014 - A victim speaks out
The Phoenix Preacher released an interview with one of the victims and Miriam Bongolan, one of the missionaries who received the initial abuse reports.
Jun 2014 - Joe Coffey refuses to meet Joe Mauk
Joe Mauk reached out to Joe Coffey offering to meet when he visited the area later in the month. Coffey refused:
Please don’t assume we are relying on presuppositions. We have followed the investigation and the charges very closely. We trust that the authorities are doing a thorough investigation into the situation and our prayer is that the truth is revealed. If you have something to add to what you previously stated please let us know. Otherwise we prefer to decline your invitation.
Aug 1, 2014 - $2.1M assets transferred to CCC
World Harvest Ministries transferred $2.1M in cash assets to Christ Community Chapel and dissolved.
Aug 29, 2014 - Coffey claims charges dropped
After a hearing, Coffey announced on Twitter that all charges against Toto and Jake had been dropped, and that a judge had deemed the raid unjustified. This was false. Two people replied informing him of such. He did not respond. This is the last public statement from Coffey.
Aug 31, 2014 - Randall claims charges about to be dropped
Speaking at Christ Community Chapel, Randall said:
Speaking of good news, I have good news. Everybody likes to hear good news, don’t they? And my good news is — at least, for Karen and I, big news is — in the Philippines, we got a call just the other night, late in the morning, about 2:30 in the morning — that the hearing is finished, and the lawyers say they’re going to drop the charges on Toto and my godson.
Nov 27, 2014 - Judge denies motion to quash
The Luchavez motion to quash the charges against them was denied. The Luchavez defense then filed a motion for reconsideration.
Mar 2015 - Judge denies appeal of previous denial
The motion for reconsideration was also denied and charges upheld, and the Luchavez defense filed yet another an appeal. Arguments regarding this appeal would take up the next year. The appeal would eventually be denied in 2017.
Dec 23, 2015 - Randalls mention 'open case against our director'
In their Christmas 2015 newsletter, the Randalls wrote:
Tom has really wanted to return for a visit to the Philippines but we just haven’t felt it was the best timing. There is still an open case against our director and his son. Tom returning could stir up things and become a problem possibly so for now we must be patient.
~Fall 2016 - Case dismissed for lack of witnesses
In consultation with counsel, the remaining alleged victims were advised that the court case would likely take another 8-12 years, assuming the appeals and delays continued. If the witnesses failed to appear for any hearings, the case would be dismissed. The alleged victims decided not to continue pressing the case but did not retract their claims.
Nov 26, 2016 - Randalls celebrate case dismissal
The Randalls wrote in their newsletter:
Please celebrate with us! After nearly three years and about 15 court hearings the case against my friend, Toto Luchavez, and his son, Jake, has finally been dismissed!
Oct 2017 - Tom Randall claims 'gossip and slander'
Tom Randall in his October 2017 newsletter mentioned only one girl and blamed “gossip and slander”:
Even the girl who accused our staff member of a kiss has asked forgiveness from him and Karen and me. The missionary who inserted himself into our business and escalated the gossip and slander which resulted in our arrest and the detention of our kids is no longer credible or relevant and poses no threat.
Nov 2017 - Randall returns to Philippines
In November 2017, Tom Randall returned to the Philippines. He said in a Nov 22 update that his attorney’s brother was the new Head of Immigration, so he was cleared off any lists. He also said another attorney he knew through a close friend was now President Duterte’s officer in charge while the president is traveling. He posted photographs with Toto Luchavez and many of the former Sankey youth.
Sep 2018 - CCC engages member review
Christ Community Chapel asked a church member, Suzanne Lewis-Johnson, to do an internal review of the allegations of abuse at Sankey and the church response thereto.
Sep-Nov 2018 - CCC claims independent investigation
Christ Community Chapel told multiple individuals both in writing and verbally that the church had engaged an “independent investigation” with a very well qualified team.
Dec 14, 2018 - Meeting with Tom Randall
Multiple individuals met with church representatives and Tom Randall. A church representative claimed again that an independent investigation was being done by a group “not at all funded or supported by CCC”. They said there was a “loose association” with one individual.
Randall said he had not read any of the sworn statements from the alleged victims.
Mar 12, 2019 - Joe Coffey sends internal statement
Perhaps in response to a Wartburg Watch article that published troubling internal correspondence with Coffey and other church staff, Joe Coffey sent out an internal email to members informing them of the ongoing internal review. No explanation was given for the earlier claims of an “independent investigation”.
The reviewer, CCC member Suzanne Lewis-Johnson, also published a statement defending her objectivity on CCC’s website.
Mar 12, 2019 - Allegations arise against Randall
Two women and an observer came forward to The Wartburg Watch with allegations of improper behavior by Randall with adolescent girls.
Mar-Apr 2019 - Suzanne Lewis-Johnson clarifies scope
Suzanne Lewis-Johnson informed inquirers that her review was limited to “historical information related to the response to the allegations at Sankey.” However, as of this writing, Lewis-Johnson has not contacted the individuals who asked CCC to consider both sides and listen to the alleged victims from 2014-2016.