RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Prosecutors in Texas have formally charged Richmond Outreach Center Pastor Geronimo "G" Aguilar with seven felony counts in two child sex abuse cases.
Prosecutors say the allegations date back to 1996, and involve two victims. Aguilar faces four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 14, with two counts for each victim. Those charges are first degree felonies that could carry life in prison. He also faces three counts of sexual assault of a child from the two alleged incidents. Those charges are second degree felonies that could carry up to 20 years in prison.
A Tarrant County, Texas judge set his bail at $100,000 for each case, or $200,000 total. However, Aguilar remains in Richmond as court proceedings continue over his travel to Texas.
A Richmond judge ordered Aguilar held on $50,000 bond in connection with the child sexual abuse charges in Texas Wednesday morning. The judge ordered Aguilar to report to Texas authorities by Friday at 4:30 p.m. to respond to the charges.
However, prosecutors are seeking an emergency appeal hearing. They'd like the judge to order Aguilar to be held without bond until authorities can extradite him to Texas to face the charges.
Prosecutors now have until 5 p.m. to try and secure an emergency appeal hearing in Circuit Court.
Aguilar surrendered to U.S. Marshals at his Richmond home Tuesday afternoon. Texas police charged him with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 stemming from a complaint made in 2007 by two sisters in Anaheim, California. The women are now in their 20s, but were underage at the time of the alleged incidents. The alleged crimes date back 17 years, according to sources.
Pastor G's attorney says his client is innocent.
The charges are felonies in Texas and could carry five and 99 years in prison as well as up to a $10,000 fine, if Aguilar is convicted.
Pastor Aguilar founded the Richmond Outreach Center in 2001. It quickly caught on and was even named one of the fastest growing churches in America. The ROC outgrew its Warwick Road space in 2008 and moved into a new home. Finished in 2009, the church says 11,000 worship here each week.