ROC pastor in custody in Texas sexual abuse case

Published: May. 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2013 at 4:01 PM EDT
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Pastor Geronimo Aguilar (Source: Fort Worth Police Department)
Pastor Geronimo Aguilar (Source: Fort Worth Police Department)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Pastor Geronimo Aguilar from the Richmond Outreach Center surrendered to U.S. Marshals at his Richmond home Tuesday afternoon on child sexual abuse charges.

Texas police charged Aguilar 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.

"I'm extremely disappointed on how the Texas authorities proceeded with this when they knew exactly where my client was and how to find him," said attorney David Carlson. "This was done to embarrass the man."

Two men inside the ROC refused NBC12 crews attempts to try and talk with Pastor G at the church Tuesday.

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.

Richmond Police confirm they investigated a complaint against Pastor G more than a year ago, but wouldn't elaborate on what it was. Pastor G was never charged with anything, but in the last year a Facebook group popped up making allegations of sexual abuse against Pastor G.

Three weeks ago, it turned into a protest outside the church, with signs alleging sex with underage girls, adultery and embezzlement.

A source close to the investigation says the women who came forward feel vindicated that charges were finally filed.

In statement released two weeks ago, the church denied the allegations.

Pastor Geronimo 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.

Pastor G is due to be arraigned in court Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Manchester Courthouse in Richmond.

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