A woman who helped to bring down a Brazilian faith healer accused of sex abuse was found dead.
Sabrina Bittencourt, 38, died at her home in Barcelona just days after accusing John of God – real name Joao Teixeira de Faria – of running a ‘sex slave farm’.
She claimed young girls were held captive in a farming operation which exported babies on the black market.
The women would be murdered after ten years of having babies in the alleged scheme run by the 77-year-old celebrity faith healer, who was arrested last year after hundreds of women accused him of abuse, she said.
Ms Bittencourt left Brazil and was forced to live under protection after receiving death threats.
Her eldest son Gabriel Baum confirmed her death, writing on Facebook: ‘She took the last step so that we could live. They killed my mother.’
Sex abuse victim support group Victimas Unidas, who worked with the 38-year-old, said: ‘We announce with regret the death of Sabrina de Campos Bittencourt, which occurred around 9pm on Saturday on February 2 in Barcelona where she was living.
‘The activist committed suicide and left a farewell note explaining the reasons why she took her own life.’
Before her death she was quoted as saying: ‘Hundreds of girls were enslaved over years, lived on farms in Goias, served as wombs to get pregnant, for their babies to be sold.’
‘These girls were murdered after 10 years of giving birth. We have got a number of testimonies.’
Ms Bittencourt had received reports of children being sold for between £15,000 and £40,000 in Europe, Australia and the United States, she said.
Faith healer ‘John of God’ investigated over sex abuse claims
Hundreds of around the world have already accused John of God of sexually abusing them during healing sessions.
The faith healer became a wanted man after ten women accused him of abuse during a late night chat show on Brazil’s Globo TV network last year.
After the initial interview on TV authorities were reportedly contacted by more than 600 other accusers, including Faria’s adult daughter, Dalva Teixeira.
He was arrested in December and remanded in custody before being charged with rape and sexual assault.
John of God – known as Joao de Deus in his native language – denies all of the charges against him.