Facing seven counts of alleged sexual abuse of minors, Geronimo Aguilar officially resigned from his position as Senior Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center.
Update #7 — June 6, 2013; 11:25 AM
Today, Geronimo Aguilar, facing seven counts of alleged sexual abuse of minors (see below) officially resigned from his position as Senior Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center.
As you all know, my family and I have been facing difficult trials and persecution. This has taken a toll on me and my family, as well as those close to me. Unfortunately, during this difficult season, the focus has been taken off of Jesus and put on me, and that is not what The ROC is all about.
For this reason, I decided last week that it was time for me to permanently step down from my position as Senior Pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center. I came to this decision after much prayer and wise counsel from a dear friend; and the Board is graciously supporting my decision. Serving you all and leading this church have been the best twelve years of my life. Although we will not be at The ROC, Samantha and I are not leaving Richmond, and we hope to continue the many relationships we have built with you all. I would ask that you pray for me and my family, as we don’t know what God has in store for us, next.
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Update #6 — May 30, 2013; 12:28 PM
Geronimo Aguilar posted two $100,000 bonds this morning and was subsequently released from Texas jail. Aguilar’s next court date had been a bond reduction hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning, which has been cancelled.
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Update #5 — May 24, 2013; 1:05 PM
Geronimo Aguilar was released from a Richmond jail this morning and placed into the custody of Texas authorities. Aguilar is now headed to Texas where he will face seven felony counts of sexual assault against minors (see below).
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Update #4 — May 23, 2013; 5:39 PM
The Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center have placed senior pastor Geronimo Aguilar on a paid leave of absence per Aguilar’s request, a decision that comes after Texas officials have charged Aguilar with seven felony counts of alleged sexual abuse of minors (see below).
The Board of Directors also affirmed its belief in Aguilar’s innocence. It’s now looking for an interim pastor outside its church community.
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Update #3 — May 23, 2013; 9:32 AM
Texas authorities upgraded charges yesterday against Geronimo Aguilar to seven felony counts. Over two cases, the ROC senior pastor has been charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14, first-degree felonies punishable by up to a life sentence.
Aguilar was also charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, which are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He was also charged with indecency with a child, another second-degree felony.
Aguilar will be extradited to Texas and is scheduled to face a Tarrant County judge on June 6th. His bail in Texas was set to $200,000.
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Update #2 — May 22, 2013; 1:42 PM
The Tarrant County, Texas District Attorney’s Office said that Aguilar is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years of age, first-degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison.
For the other alleged victim, Aguilar is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child, which are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years on prison.
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Update #1 — May 22, 2013; 10:31 AM
A judge ruled that Aguilar be held on $50,000 bond as the ROC pastor faces aggravated sexual assault charges in Texas (see below). Aguilar must now report to Texas authorities by Friday at 4:30 PM.
Prosectors will today seek an emergency Circuit Court appeal to hold Aguilar until Texas authorities can travel to Virginia to extradite him.
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Original — May 22, 2013
Geronimo Aguilar, senior pastor at the Richmond Outreach Center (commonly known as The ROC), was arrested by US Marshals yesterday at his home in Richmond after two women allege Aguilar committed aggravated sexual assault against them as minors some years ago in Texas. Aguilar will go before a judge this morning, and could be released on bond or extradited to Texas.
It was law enforcement officials in Anaheim, CA that informed the Fort Worth Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit of alleged sexual abuse uncovered during an investigation sometime in 2007.
Citing recent developments pertaining to that ongoing investigation, Fort Worth Police Detective Deion Nash generated two probable cause arrest warrants, one for each alleged victim, against the ROC pastor. Aguilar surrendered to US Marshals without incident at about 4:00 PM at his Richmond home.
Aguilar’s attorney, David Carlson, maintained his client’s innocence. He also criticized Fort Worth police seizing Aguilar in Richmond, saying his client was ready and willing to appear in Texas.
An aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 is a first-degree felony in Texas. It’s punishable by 5-99 years in prison, and a fine limited to $10,000.
Two Chesterfield women alleged in 2011 that Aguilar repeatedly molested their 16-year-old niece. Aguilar filed civil suits against the women claiming their accusations defamed him and caused him emotional distress.
photo via The ROC